Fisher final candidate interviewed for city BOE

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com
The Elizabethton Board of Education culminated the candidate interview process of its search for a new director of schools after speaking with Guy G. Fisher on Wednesday night.
Fisher presently serves as director of human resources with the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System. He spent 25 years in the Alaska public education system before moving to Clarksville in 1997.
During the interview, Fisher said his people skills are his greatest strength and emphasized his participation in educational programs, focusing on American Indian studies and Pacific Rim studies he developed during his career in Alaska. Fisher said he had extensive experience in labor negotiations as both a teacher and administrator and told the board he had no problem reigning them in or telling the facts they might not want to hear. He also felt education was a dynamic system that required evolved decisions by educators.
"Sometimes you have to go outside the box to do things," he said. "The system has changed and you have to change with it."
Fisher began his career in 1971 as a teacher in Anchorage, Alaska, spending three years in the classroom before being recruited into administration in 1974. He became assistant principal of Central High School in Anchorage and maintained administrative level positions of assistant principal and principal at several junior high school and high schools in Alaska.
He holds a master's degree in teaching from Alaska Pacific University and has a superintendent certification credential from the University of Alaska.
Fisher came to Tennessee in Feb. 1997 after retiring out of the Alaska public school system to become assistant principal at Northwest High School in Clarksville. He spent three years as principal of Montgomery Central High School in Clarksville before becoming director of secondary education with the system in June 2001. He became director of human resources with the system in July 2002.
He told the board that his research of Elizabethton's academic achievement and setting convinced him of the system's high standards, and said he feels he would be an excellent fit in the community. He also said his second stint in education had given him the chance to exercise his knowledge and enjoy education even more.
"The second time around is much better because you are working where you want to be," he said.
Fisher has perhaps the most classroom experience of any of the four candidates interviewed thus far. He spent three years as a teacher at one junior high school and two high schools in Anchorage. He has been an administrator at several elementary and high schools during his career, including holding the principal's job at Barrow High School in Barrow, Alaska. Fisher and his wife, Ora, who accompanied him to the interview, have five children.
The board previously interviewed candidates Dr. David M. Roper, Dr. John D. Payne, Dr. Richard McInturf before meeting with Fisher. Richard Culver has served as interim director since July.
Board Chairman Dr. Bob Sams said shortly after the interview ended that the board plans to narrow their list to two candidates and call a board meeting to determine the top finalists. The director will replace Dr. Judy Blevins who resigned in June.
The Tennessee School Boards Association culled five candidates for review by the board through its Superintendent Search Service. The TSBA search service also provides assistance in developing the contract for the new director, including salary and benefits. The two finalists could be selected by the first week of November.