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Long-term ties build school/student relationships

Alarm clocks buzz as mom rushes to make lunches and ensures that everyone is awake and getting ready for school. Food is shoveled down and clothes are thrown on as the daily race to beat the clock begins again each morning in homes across the nation.

The Fisher household is no exception and the family has observed this morning schedule for the past 20 years.

“Their positive energy has been infectious to the entire student body,” Jon Hall, football coach, said. “Everyone knows the Fishers; they’re everywhere!”

All five of Mark and Suzie Fisher’s children have been on campus from kindergarten through high school. Luke (’98), Jacob (’99), Kaelie (’01), Samuel (’03) and Seth (’04) have all had their turn walking the campus halls.

A friendship between Seth and Tyler Wiebe, ’04, began back in the sixth grade.

“Seth has been my best friend since the end of sixth grade,” Wiebe said. “We went to Hume Lake together and really bonded. I actually invited Sam but he couldn’t go so Seth came and became my best friend.”

Their friendship has lasted these six years as a result of their brotherly love for one another.

“He’s always there when I’m feeling down and stands up for me,” Wiebe said. “Even though we fight and beat each other up, we still love each other like brothers.”

Because of a chance encounter, Seth and Wiebe met for the first time at a football game.

“The first time I ever met Seth was at football games because our brothers played together,” Wiebe said. “I was really shy back then and was just walking by these guys throwing a ball around behind the bleachers, and the ball came to me, I threw it back, and they must have liked how good I threw, so Seth invited me to come and play with them.”

As the last Fisher to be on campus, Seth feels a bit lonesome.

“In the beginning, when Sam left, I did feel a bit lonely, but now I’m getting used to it,” Seth said. “I miss my brothers and sisters but things get better when I to talk to them on the phone.”

With all the other siblings gone off to work and college, Seth has been left at home with his parents.

“Since Seth is the only one left in our house, it does seem a bit empty but I can still feel the life that is here,” Suzie said. “Mark and I have more one-on-one time with him in the mornings and evenings. Now he’s getting the kind of attention that an only child would get.”

Personal attention is rarely lacking in the Fisher home and family members say there is enough love to go around.

“We’re a real team because we’re best friends and best friends always support each other,” Seth said. “Like at Christmas time we all always got what we wanted and were happy about it. There was always equal attention for all of us.”

Teachers and administrators have noticed and recognized this strong family support.

“The Fisher parents are so supportive of their children and were always willing to work with the elementary teachers,” Pat Unruh, elementary principal, said. “I have always had great respect for the Fisher parents because they raised their family as a team.”

Opinions are similar between teachers who have experienced these children.

“Seth was always well behaved and liked very much by the other children,” Gladys Kerfoot, retired first grade teacher, said. “He was a good student thanks to the support from his parents. Suzie was always involved, concerned and willing to work with the school.”

According to Principal Gary Schultz, the positive atmosphere the Fisher children were exposed to here on campus shows through in their academic and athletic success.

“All their kids have been average to above average students academically and have really been successful in sports,” Schultz said. “Most of them hold some type of record and have been on all-star teams.”

For the Fisher kids, small school sports have been their strong point and helped them develop their recognition throughout the valley.

“Sam and Seth both brought a high level of talent and competitiveness to our school,” Hall said. “They’ve been instrumental in helping build our sports programs and maintaining a high level of accomplishment.”

The support Suzie and Mark have shown is valued and has also helped other children to succeed in this small school atmosphere.

“In this type of small school, parents have to be the number one means of advertisement and the Fishers have done more than their share of recruiting,” Schultz said. “Others see their example and determination to expose their children to Christian education and want to follow their example.”

Just like many parents who send their children to private schools, often there is a financial struggle.

“Sending all five of my children to Fresno Christian has been a real battle for us, but Christian education has really been our conviction,” Suzie said. “I don’t even want to add up all the money we’ve spent in tuition through these 20 years.”

Current four-year campus tuition is approximately $25,000. One-year tuition is $5, 850 but senior students are charged an extra $400 to cover the annual senior trip. Tuition changes yearly.

By involving themselves in campus activities, the Fisher family has shown their belief in Christian education and their dedication to help future generations.

“To see a commitment like that family has had towards our school really shows their belief in Christian education,” Schultz said. “By sending all five of their children through our school they have really sacrificed financially and emotionally, but that family works as a team and they are enough support for each other.”

For more information on attending either the elementary or high school, go online at www.fresnochristian.com or call 559-299-1695.

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