Dr. Linda Fisher

Teaching is in her blood.

Fisher_01Dr. Linda McLucas Fisher, now 72, was the only child of teachers Leonard and Margaret Cox McLucas. The family celebrated her first birthday in their new Murray Hill home on Attleboro Street after moving from Sanford, FL with Fisher’s maternal grandmother Maud Medill Miller. Her father was a new coach and teacher at Robert E. Lee High School before serving as Duval County Supervisor of Health & Physical Education. Her mother taught American History at Lee for 30 years. Murray Hill was a snapshot of small town America and Robert E. Lee High School was the place to be in Jacksonville.

“I got to attend wonderful public schools: Ruth N. Upson Elementary, John Gorrie Middle School and I was a 1960 Lee High graduate,” said Fisher. “Murray Hill felt like the heart of things happening in Jacksonville, plus close to everything in Riverside or Downtown. I studied ballet with Thelma Baggs, had piano and elocution lessons. I grew up singing in the church choir at Riverside Presbyterian. We all loved to eat at Whiteway, or go to Dreamette for ice cream and Pop Barrier’s for malted frosties and delicious barbecue.”

After graduation from Lee, Fisher left Jacksonville for Wheaton College in Norton, MA where she earned her degree in English and Literature. She then completed her Master’s degree at Boston University and returned to Jacksonville. Fisher taught briefly at Andrew Jackson High School before the “new” Florida Community College (now Florida State College) Kent Campus recruited her in 1969. Around that time she attended a concert at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens with her mother.

“Little did I know that would be the day I first saw my future husband, Michael Fisher of Avondale. I thought he was so handsome, but I was much too shy to introduce myself. Later I saw him again when he was on a date with a friend of mine at a Jacksonville Symphony concert and she introduced us. After that we began dating and married in 1970,” Fisher said.

Fisher_03After their marriage the Fishers moved to their first Avondale home on Pine Street near Talbot to be near Michael’s family and Linda’s work. After their son Michael was born they moved to their Hedrick Avenue home where they’ve lived for 40 years and Linda’s mother moved into the Pine Street house.

Fisher completed her doctorate at Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton with her mother’s help caring for her children. Her passion for public school education earned her a reputation among students, colleagues and community as “one of Jacksonville’s most beloved educators.” The hallmark of her career was her expansion of traditional college instruction with her own creativity and enthusiasm. It was a fact that Dr. Fisher’s classes filled quickly.

When asked to teach Humanities courses, Fisher invited guest speakers with expertise in  each region of World Literature or History she taught: Greek, Arabic or Italian literature, Art History, World Philosophies, Religions or Music Appreciation among others. She was interested in more than mastery of course content; she sought life knowledge, enrichment and arts exposure through first-hand experiences for students. Fisher offered extra credit for optional field trips to free or low cost (she’s a keen negotiator, too) cultural events, art exhibitions, musical concerts and museums.  Her own home and collections from world travel became an exciting extension of her classroom.

“I invited students to luncheons at my home where we sampled food from cultures being studied. I showed them art or objects from each country or historical period, using our personal collections. Sharing with students was a delight for us,” she said.

Linda retired from FSCJ in 2010 after nearly 40 years. She celebrates her 45th wedding anniversary with her husband, local attorney Michael W. Fisher, in September 2015. Michael grew up just a couple of miles away from Linda, on Richmond Street where he lived with his parents Prim (short for Primrose) and Dorothy Fisher. Michael’s sisters both live in Avondale, Kate Fisher Levitz works at FSCJ and Liz Fisher Harris is a retired teacher. Michael attended Bolles, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Stetson University College of Law. His law practice is with Fisher, Tousey, Leas & Ball, P.A.

The Fishers have two children and two grandchildren. Their son, Michael Medill Fisher works in the financial industry and lives behind Fishweir Elementary with their granddaughter Charity Lee Fisher. Charity, 11, is a drama student at LaVilla School of the Arts. The Fishers’ daughter, Laura Lee is married to Leon Corbett. They live in Tallahassee with the Fishers’ grandson, Arran, 6.

Linda is a 40-year member and past president of Friday Musicale, and the couple have long supported multiple community and arts organizations. Michael studied with violinist Aaron Krosnick of Jacksonville University and Jacksonville Symphony. They’ve traveled the world, enjoy sailing, the beach and walking their neighborhood. Michael collects rare maps and documents and often is asked to guest lecture on those topics.

Michael’s main charity is FONKOSE (Haitian Creole for Shoulder to Shoulder), Haiti’s largest microfinance institution, providing rural Haitian women with financial (loaned seed money) support including health education and literacy training.

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