George Fisher, facilitator at the Eunice Alternative School, officially retired June 30 after putting in 40 years of educational service.
The Eunice Alternative School is a school program designed for those students who have faced suspension or expulsion from their previous school and have nowhere to go to further their education.
Fisher said, “The school is here to help students achieve. We, as principals, teachers, facilitators, should always put the child first before suspension. I have felt it was a destruction when the child is sent home for bad behavior.
“I have felt that they would be out on the streets and out of control, whereas here in a classroom environment, teaching and helping them learn would be a much better solution. I have often times felt like a grandfather figure to many students.”
Fisher is a 1967 Charles Drew graduate and a 1972 graduate of Southern University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.
He received his Masters degree from Southern University in 1974 and earned 30 hours plus from Louisiana State University Eunice and Southern University, specializing in Adult Education, History and Elementary Education.
Fisher’s educational career began at Highland Elementary where he taught fifth grade under Principal Harvey Gil for two years.
He was transferred to Central Middle School, where he taught sixth grade for eight years. Fisher said, “I taught some of the top students at Central. Years later these same students graduated from high school to become productive in their lives and careers. Some included Dr. Joe Turk, Dr. Moncita Dupre, Barry Watson, Eddie Francois, Harold Francois and Dr. Wyatt Parks.”
Fisher then went to Opelousas Junior High where he taught GED for 15 years, rotating between the junior high, Opelousas High and Beau Chene High School.
Fisher added, “The GED program was a great success at Opelousas High. I taught some 30 students and 27 to 29 students passed. They became great students and later college graduates, while some went onto a trade school.”
Fisher then came back to his hometown of Eunice to become a teacher at the Adult Education School, working under the leadership of Michael Dupre. One year later he became principal. He said, “I brought new ideas into the program. I have enjoyed a successful eight years with a great teaching staff, Kristine Joubert, Richard Merritt and Rosalyn Jacobis.”
With school budget cuts, the GED program in Eunice has been dropped. Fisher said, “I felt the loss of the GED program was a big hurt to all children and adults who wanted to get an education locally. Now they have to travel out of town to get a GED.”
Fisher would like to thank the many school board officials who have backed up the education programs, and, “especially parents who gave positive responses and backed up the educational program,” said Fisher.
With retirement giving him more time on his hands, Fisher said he plans to become more active in his church, St. Luke Baptist, and in the community, working with children. He also plans to work part-time as a radio announcer at KOCZ in Opelousas and KIEE FM radio in Lafayette.
Fisher has one son, Shawn Poullard Fisher of Eunice and three grandchildren.