STATE COLLEGE - Bald Eagle Area School District Superintendent Dan Fisher was honored recently at the 2012 Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools (PARSS) Conference as the Hillman Award Winner - Pennsylvania Rural Educator of the Year.
To be nominated for the award, a candidate must have made significant contributions to the quality of rural education and improved student learning opportunities.
In his introductory remarks at the awards ceremony held at the Ramada Conference Center here, Arnold Hillman, one of the founding members of PARSS and former recipient for whom the award was named, called Fisher a "straight arrow."
Bald Eagle Area School Board members were on hand to celebrate Superintendent Dan Fisher’s selection as Pennsylvania Rural Educator of the Year. From left are Tawna Smith, Mary Ann Hamilton, John Rougeux, Fisher, Board President Tom Letterman, and Carol and Arnold Hillman Scholarship Award winner Chelsey Poorman and Sue Butterworth. Other board members in attendance but not pictured were Board Secretary Tim Nilson and Board Treasurer Lloyd Rhoades.
"At Bald Eagle Area, we truly 'teach for success' and I am proud to have been a small part of the legacy," Fisher said.
Living in the Bald Eagle Area his entire life, Fisher has also given just about his entire professional life to the district. He has been an integral part of BEA since he served as president of the BEA Class of 1964. After completing post-secondary studies and a stint in the Navy, he returned to his alma mater as a social studies teacher, and also held the positions of assistant high school principal, athletic director, business manager and assistant superintendent before becoming superintendent, a post he has served in for the past 22 years.
During that time, Reading Recovery, FOSS Science, Everyday Mathematics, an elementary Spanish program and the Bald Eagle Area Cyber Academy have been implemented in the district. An environmental center has been built, an alumni association formed, an artificial turf field with six-lane track installed and an independent living center put into place for use by special needs students. In addition, a $26 million dollar renovation has recently been completed at the Wingate Complex, which includes BEA High School and Wingate Elementary School, as well as installation of geothermal HVAC systems at the complex and at the Mountaintop Area Elementary School. The district recently earned the 2012 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence for its environmental initiatives.
Many BEA board and administration members were on hand for the awards ceremony, including Fisher's wife, Jane, and their son, Matthew - who is following in his father's footsteps as an educator in the Red Lion Area School District.
PARSS is comprised of approximately 180 school districts, 10 intermediate units and 30 business associate members. Its mission is to work for the attainment of quality education and equal educational opportunity for all students in every public school in Pennsylvania.