HISTORY OF OUR SCHOOL NAME:
Fischer Middle School was named after Greg Fischer,an educator who spent 32 years working in Indian Prairie before retiring in 2004. He began his career as a physical education teacher at Indian Plains School and later served as an assistant principal to Tom Gibbs at Waubonsie Valley Jr/Sr High School from 1974 to 1981. Fischer was then named principal to lead the opening of Thayer Hill Jr. High School, the Districts' first school dedicated specifically to educating middle grades students. In 1987, District 204 adopted the middle school philosophy in the same year that Fischer was named principal of Gordon Gregory Middle School where he served for the next seventeen years.
Born and raised in Elmhurst, Illinois, Fischer credits his strong and supportive family for teaching the values that served well throughout his career. Teamwork, sportsmanship, fair play and a willingness to work hard to achieve goals were taught and reinforced at home and at school. The second youngest of six siblings, he was never at a loss for guidance, love or companionship. Fischer says, "Although my parents and two of my brothers have passed away, my remaining brother and two sisters continue to be sources of inspiration and pride for me." That sense of family pride continues for Fischer and his wife, Julie, as their son Josh and his wife Susie have four beautiful children in Naperville. Fischer's daughter, Alison, and her husband, Christian, have two children.
Colleagues fondly refer to Fischer as a dedicated leader who was instrumental in the district's transition from the traditional junior high model to the current team-oriented approach of middle school. He was a strong proponent of the power of teams of teachers meeting daily to plan and prepare instruction that met the needs of the youngsters they collectively served. It was important to Fischer that his teachers knew their students well and shared their collective expertise to best meet each child's unique needs. The sign outside Gregory Middle School reads "Where Kids Come First". Fischer felt that by displaying the motto prominently and referring to it frequently he and his staff would be constantly reminded of the importance of their mission. The "middle school model" implemented at Hill and Gregory and subsequently at all the succeeding middle schools in District 204 stresses the importance of social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth. This 'whole child' approach has been instrumental in the success of District 204's middle schools and the continued respect that they earn.
Under his leadership, Gregory Middle School was one of four schools in the state to be recognized as an Illinois Horizon School. The recognition honored the school's dedication to academic excellence and developmental responsiveness to students. During his tenure, both Hill and Gregory were named Demonstration Schools by the Association of Illinois Middle-Level Schools (AIMS), recognizing the schools as a model middle school in Illinois. In 2003, AIMS honored Fischer's dedication and commitment to middle school students and their education by presenting him with the Robert Knight Award for Distinguished Service to Middle Level Education.
When asked to summarize his experience, Fischer comments how he was truly blessed to "grow up" with District 204. "I had the privilege of knowing and working for Thayer Hill, the first superintendent and Gordon Gregory the first president of the Board of Education. It was an exciting time and a real sense of community and family existed. I was proud to be a part of this new and emerging district and I'm still proud to have had the opportunity to work here and to have had the wonderful experiences I had with mentors, colleagues and students over the years. Clearly, I feel I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time supported by exceptional professionals doing a job we all felt passionate about. I am deeply honored to have the Fischer name associated with a great school in a great district. It is an honor that I share with the hundreds of dedicated educators who have served and continue to serve Indian Prairie Community Unit District 204."