Shaler Area School Board member has a quarter-century of experience -

Shaler Area School Board member has a quarter-century of experience

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 | 1:17 PM

The way Shaler Area School Board member Jim Fisher sees it, he must be doing something right.

Fisher, 68, has served 24 years, the most of any member, and is running unopposed at the end of the year.

“I am elected every four years by the voters in my region,” said Fisher, who lives in Shaler. “I have no single reason for my years on the board other than I do what is best for our students and taxpayers.”

Shaler Area superintendent Sean Aiken said Fisher, an Etna High School graduate, brings tremendous historical perspective.

“He understands the community and the needs of the school district,” Aiken said. “Jim has depth of knowledge in the areas of finance and buildings and grounds, bringing his expertise as an engineer.

“Jim is married to a retired SASD teacher and has grandchildren in the school district. He is committed to seeing SASD thrive.”

Fisher, a retired water treatment specialist, holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Pitt. His two children are Shaler Area graduates.

Fisher, who joined the board in November 1995, said he has seen many changes over the years, including the wide adoption of computing technology, increased parental involvement in education and a steady increase in the cost of education without the support from state government keeping pace.

His proudest accomplishment, he said, has been watching the district adapt to the changing times and demands placed on school districts to prepare students for the future.

“As a member of the A.W. Beattie Career Center Joint Operating Committee, I am also proud of the success Beattie has achieved and the quality of the school,” Fisher said. “The administration and staff (have) grown over the years and have prepared non-academic-track students to enter the workforce prepared to succeed in their respective endeavors.”

Beattie executive director Eric Heasley said Fisher has played a key role at the center in McCandless, which is an extension of nine northern Allegheny County school districts.

Heasley said Fisher has served as past president of the Joint Operating Committee for a number of years and serves as the treasurer. He has been an active member of the committee’s finance, building and grounds, organization and curriculum and personnel committees, and serves as a representative of the Joint Operating Committee to the center’s Occupational Advisory Committees.

In 2017, he received the center’s Occupational Advisory Committee Award of Distinction for his dedication to the student body.

Fisher wants to keep Shaler Area moving forward.

“My goals have always been and will continue to be a voice of reason on all matters that pertain to our goal of educating and preparing the children of the district for the future and to contribute to the decision-making process,” Fisher said.