Cleveland chamber names top teacher

Teacher Amanda Fisher, right, with her principal, Dr. Paula Coates.
Teacher Amanda Fisher, right, with her principal, Dr. Paula Coates. JOHNSTON COUNTY SCHOOLS

The Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce has named its Teacher of the Year. She is Amanda Fisher, who teaches career and technical education at West Johnston High School.

West Johnston’s principal, Dr. Paula Coates, nominated Fisher for the award. Fisher’s husband, John, submitted a biography to accompany the nomination.

John Fisher wrote: “Amanda’s professional excellence is driven by the same character traits that exemplify her personal life: devotion, compassion and tireless enthusiasm.”

“A wonderful friend, wife and puppy-mother to one oversized border collie, she gives to everyone in her life love, laughter and a helping hand,” John Fisher wrote. “Whether running a charity 5K or driving across the state to visit an old friend, you will not often find Amanda idle, even after a long week of teaching, coaching and advising.

“If she’s not on the go, then she is likely spending time with her family. No doubt her strong family helped develop her into the confident and compassionate woman she is today. Teaching is somewhat of a family tradition for the Halls, as her mother was a business teacher for 30 years in Cumberland County, and her brother is a physical education teacher there as well.

“If you asked Amanda if teaching ... is worth the long hours and occasional headaches that come with it, I think her answer would be a resounding yes. The bonds of friendship she’s developed with some of her current and former co-workers, and the pride in her students which radiates from her, have become part of the fabric of her life. And I don’t think she’d trade them for anything.”

Amanda Fisher has been a career and technical education at West Johnston for eight years. She says she was surprised and flattered by the award.

Veronica McLean, a student, said Fisher has been a safe haven for her the past four years, and she couldn’t imagine high school without her.

“Since the beginning of my high school career, she’s always been someone I know I can depend on and will support me no matter what,” McLean said. “She’s the happiest and most lively person I know; even on my worst days she can make me laugh, and she is always there for me when I need guidance.”