Kim Fisher, PTA president for Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy and School Council member, won the annual award in recognition of her leadership in creating a foundation of support for student achievement and success.
Oak Grove Elementary School Principal Les Conley said the school was blessed to have Fisher, who has a fifth-grader at the school.
“She’s here, every day,” he said. “I’ve been doing this 31 years, with wonderful parents, and that’s the key to any successful public school. Parent involvement is the key component, and she’s golden.”
Fisher said she’s been a PTA member for a year. She got involved with the school soon after moving to Acworth two years ago, and said receiving the award hasn’t set in yet.
“I don’t really think it’s set in, I’m very honored,” Fisher said. “I just don’t think it’s fully set in yet. When you think about it, you think ‘Well this is just what you’re supposed to do, this is what parents are supposed to do. Parents are just supposed to be involved.’ I’m very honored to represent Oak Grove.”
Conley said Fisher was very humble, but she has had a positive impact on “every single student in this school.”
“She’s definitely a big asset,” he said. “Every student, even the Pre-K kids, something that Kim Fisher has done has gone above and beyond and made a big impact in their lives.”
From organizing the school’s first Spring PTA Festival, to establishing the penny wars fundraiser, Fisher has done many things to support student success.
“To me, the biggest thing is being involved with these people, these parents and these kids, it’s a payment in itself, it’s phenomenal,” she said.
Fisher will be recognized with the award at the 2014 Georgia Family Engagement Conference on Jan. 9 to 11 at the Classic Center in Athens.
Fisher’s gotten the nickname of “Fish” around school, and is known for making fish-faces at the children to make them smile.
“For me, when you see that kid smile at you, just walking down the hall, and when some kid screams ‘Hey, Fish!’ and we make fish-faces at each other, it just warms my heart. They know they have a friend in me and they know they’re going to see me every day, and if they need something, they know they can come to me,” she said. “I feel like this entire school treats me like I’m family, it’s just a happy place to be.”
Fisher’s latest project through the PTA is the Santa’s Shop program, and Conley said the school’s never done better.
“They’ve had record sales,” Conley said. “They’ve more than doubled sales from last year.”
Fisher said the school teaches children about giving to others, and one specific aspect of the Santa Shop encouraged that type of kindness.
Students were given a chance to drop change into a jar to help buy toys for children in need, and she said many children dropped in coins.
“Many of the kids did, we raised over $150 in change to help families in need, and that all came from the kids,” Fisher said. “While that wasn’t truly a PTA thing, I was just very proud of our kids at Oak Grove raising that kind of money to help kids at the school.”
Fisher said she’s always volunteered to help out at her children’s school and activities. She said she does it because she had two wonderful parents who did the same thing for her as a child.
Fisher said any parents who are thinking of getting involved in their child’s school should “jump in and do it.”
“Being involved in your child’s life and your child’s education is a small window, and it’s a huge difference that you can make,” she said. “Just do it.”
Fisher was a substitute teacher in Florida before moving to Acworth, and said she knows first-hand that teachers need help.
“Teaching was one of the most rewarding, yet hardest, things I have ever done. Making a difference in a child’s life is the best feeling in the world,” she said. “Having parents in the classroom who helped and supported was a true blessing.”
Whether sharpening a pencil or making copies for a teacher, Fisher said she’s happy to be able to help.
“I work hard and I take it as seriously as I would any job. And while I do not get paid in money, I do get paid in smiles and hugs, and with many a sincere ‘Thank yous,’ and that is priceless,” she said.