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Atlanta Heights Middle School Dean Fisher

Creating a family-like atmosphere for the middle school hallway at Atlanta Heights Charter School is a top priority for Alisha Fisher, who became dean four years ago.
 
“I enjoy nurturing relationships with my scholars and learning about their lives outside of the school,” Fisher said. “I also have the privilege of watching them mature over three years, both academically and socially.”
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An educator for more than 20 years, Fisher’s days are busy. From greeting students, to classroom observations, answering parent emails, and supporting teachers, she is always on the go.
 
“Being a dean is hard work, but I love it,” she said. “The dean model is so effective because it allows the opportunity to cater to the development of students and teachers alike.”
 
Fisher not only takes time to get to know her students better, she also is getting to know teaching staff on a deeper level and provide opportunities for them to spend time together outside of the classroom. 
 
“It’s gratifying to forge relationships with such talented educators,” Fisher said. “I get to see them grow as teachers and as friends. We make sure to get out and enjoy dinner together, unwind, and get to know a bit about each other’s personal lives. I think it truly helps build a strong staff, who, in turn, are strong teachers.”
 
Fisher was a classroom teacher for 10 years, which gives her a unique perspective in her supporting role as dean. There was one adjustment, she says, when moving into the dean role: Quantity.
 
“The biggest adjustment is the responsibility of 10 classrooms versus one,” she said. “I take accountability for everything that happens in my wing, and that comes with a tremendous amount of pressure. Yet, the fantastic part of my role is that I am able to impact more lives and meet more students and their families.”