The Many Faces of North: Chris Fisherkeller, retiring staff

Chris Fisherkeller has been a teacher at this school for about 28 years but has been teaching for 34 years. This was her last year teaching. Teachers and students are happy for her but sad she’s leaving. Chris Fisherkeller reminds us she won’t forget all the friendships she made or the kind students she taught in school when she retires.

“I’m going to miss a lot of things. I love that the school encourages the teachers to try new things. At other schools, I’ve seen that sometimes teachers are competitive with each other and just don’t want to share new ideas or anything, but here it’s not like that. I love the English department. They’re the best group of people I’ve ever met. I’ve made so many friendships that I’m really going to miss. Also when there are really good moments in class, when students are kind, caring, hardworking. I’m really going to miss that, and those are the big moments I’m going to take with me,” Fisherkeller said.

Fisherkeller made an impact and formed a lot of friendships and good student bonds at the school that’ll be missed.

“Mrs. Fisherkeller has been working as long as I’ve been working here, but longer. I’m going to miss Mrs. Fisherkeller so much; she’s one of my really good friends here. I’m going to miss our friendship, teaching with her, and creating curriculum with her. If I had a problem with creating ideas, I would go to her for questions,” said English teacher Brenda Smith.

Most students loved having Chris Fisherkeller as a teacher because of her positive attitude and her perseverance to help her students do better.

“I’m very glad Mrs. Fisherkeller was my English teacher because she made English class fun for me, and she always has a good attitude every day in class. It’s as if she’s always excited to be here with her students. Overall, she’s just an outgoing and understanding teacher even on difficult days with students,” said junior Jessica Gomez.

Fisherkeller had fallen in love with Colorado while visiting one of her friends who she worked with at Waukegan High Sschool, so when she retires, she’s going to be there in the Rocky Mountains with people she already knows.

“We just fell in love over there. Our house is going on sale in a week, and we’re moving in June. We’re just five minutes away from the Rocky Mountain National Park. My friend I taught with at Waukegan High School lives there and is an extrovert, but I’m an introvert, so if I don’t want to really go out and meet everyone I won’t. My husband and I are just so excited,” Fisherkeller said.

Fisherkeller hopes that what she taught her students in the classroom, not just the material, they’ll take into the real world with them.

“Keep going. You’re going to have defeats and obstacles, but it’s not permanent. It’s not a permanent defeat. Take joy in the little successes in life, like ‘okay I’m going to go to every class this week’. Just the little things that add up. It’s not so much of these little assignments I care about, it’s that I try to help students establish good habits now that’ll help them later in life. They’ll realize if they get a setback, they can recover from it if they learn from the mistake,” Fisherkeller said.

Fisherkeller wants the teachers to remember positive things that’ll encourage them to get through the rougher days and get them to have better days.

“Teaching is a difficult job. We learned how much we need to be flexible. Teachers should remember their successes too. I have a drawer filled with little notes and drawings and papers from students that I look at if I’m having a bad day or if I’m feeling ineffective as a teacher because I need to be reminded. And that’s what teachers need to be reminded of: why they’re doing this and remember their successes and to just have something to make them feel good on tough days,” Fisherkeller said.