Joseph D. Fisher
Bethel Middle School
Bryant School District
Alexander, Arkansas

Joe Fisher has led his suburban middle school to become a distinguished site in Arkansas for achievements in education as well as environmental practices. In 2009, Bethel Middle School was named the Shannon Wright Middle Level Program for Arkansas. This honor recognized the school’s outstanding achievement in using best practices in middle-level education, as outlined in the widely read report “Turning Points: Preparing Youth for the 21st Century.” In 2007, the school achieved silver-level certification in Leadership in Environmental Engineering Design (LEED). This certification was based on the school’s construction, recycling programs, and education of students, teachers, and community members in environment-friendly practices. With this achievement, the school has in effect set green standards for schools in its state. Fisher assumed the principalship of Bethel Middle School in 2006. The site currently serves 825 students in grades 6 to 8. Beyond his school, Fisher has advocated for the needs of adolescents through his involvement in three state task forces on education, and he has served as president, vice president, and legislative representative for the Arkansas Association of Middle Level Administrators. Fisher started his career in education as a choral music teacher. Since 2000, he has headed two middle schools. He received his B.A. and M.Ed. from Arkansas Tech University.