With aspirations of becoming a doctor, Tiffany Fisher didn’t know what to expect once she became a science teacher.
But 12 years after she entered the classroom, Fisher – now a school administrator – still enjoys sharing her love of science with her students.
“I think the biggest reward for me is just being so passionate about it, that even if they don’t like it, they get interested in something and they want to know more about it,” she said.
Fisher, an assistant principal at Meridian High School, recently received the 2019 Mississippi Informal Educator Award from the Mississippi Science Teacher Association. The honor is given to educators who contribute to the field of science, but no longer teach in the classroom.
Fisher has taught at Quitman Middle School, Heidelberg High School, Meridian High School, and Gulf Coast Community College, covering subjects such as biology, genetics, botany, anatomy and physiology.
Growing up, Fisher's curiosity in science was piqued when her parents bought her a microscope. While studying at Tougaloo College, she thought about going to medical school, but that changed when she took a job working at the Chamber of Commerce in Meridian. A local principal approached her about teaching, so she decided to give it a try, and ended up enjoying it.
“I didn't choose to become teacher, teaching kind of chose me,” Fisher said.
“I get to help people," she added. "I get to see the fruits of my labor. It's just not necessarily giving them medicine and making them healthy.”
Her role as assistant principal allows Fisher to help teachers design lesson plans that are fun and engaging for students. For example, she came up with the idea to use hula hopes and ropes to demonstrate mitosis, with the hoops representing cells and the ropes representing chromosomes.
Jamie Buxton, a ninth-grade biology teacher at MHS, said Fisher has helped her by providing class resources, such as dissection materials. Beyond that, Buxton also sees Fisher as a role model for African American woman working in the field of science.
“It feels good to know someone who understands what I go through,” Buxton said.
As she looks ahead, Fisher hopes to continue helping teachers and students understand the wonder and complexities of science.
“I hope to hone my skills to be a better resource for the teachers and the students in the district and beyond,” she said.