Joseph J. Fischer
Taught art for 29 years at Royal Oak and Dondero High Schools
Began 4-County art program for Chelsea Consolidated Schools
Served as a 15-year volunteer for Cranbrook Science Museum
Inductee, Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 1999
Joseph J. Fischer attended high school in Ann Arbor. He held two college degrees from the University of Michigan and served as a teaching fellow while enrolled in his master's program. His public school teaching career began in Chelsea, Michigan where he created an art program for the community schools. This was when the Chelsea system included four one room county schools that he visited every week. After a brief stop in Fenton, Michigan as their art supervisor, Joe became the art teacher at Royal Oak High School in 1955.
Mr. Fischer's 29 year career at Dondero was marked with energy, devotion to students and colleagues, enthusiasm and professional commitment. He was himself an accomplished artist and woodcarver. Many people enjoyed his exhibit at the Royal Oak library when he was honored as Artist of the Month. Many in the community are the proud owners of one of his beautiful bird carvings.
During his teaching career, and in retirement, Joseph Fischer was elected leader of his teacher's associations. As a member of the Dondero staff he led ecology hikes, supervised student teachers and introduced his students to a wide variety of art mediums. He encouraged individual students to develop their talents and was the proud instructor of Janet Anderson, a renowned artist who was inducted into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame in 1997.
Many people have a picture in their minds of Joe at YMCA programs, summer camp meetings or elementary school outdoor education presentations explaining the history, lore, costumes, jewelry and dance of Native Americans. Joe Fischer and his wife Barbara always demonstrated a willingness to help others. Many colleagues personally know how they welcomed new staff members into the Dondero community. Joe sung in the choir, painted murals, taught Sunday School and served as resident poster maker for his church. He devoted over 15 years of voluntary service to the Cranbrook Institute and Science Museum. When people visits the museum and enjoy their programs on ecology, archaeology, the making of maple sugar or the honey bee exhibit, they are benefiting form the volunteer work of Joseph J. Fischer.
Joseph Fischer was inducted into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame in 1999.