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GIPS Board Drops Interim From Superintendent Title

Mr. Matt Fisher in suit and tie smiling in a school hallway

October 13, 2023

The job is his.

The Grand Island Public Schools (GIPS) Board of Education has announced that Mr. Matthew Fisher may remove the word “Interim” from his job title.  After taking a formal Action Item at the October 12 Board Meeting, the Board voted unanimously to remove the “Interim” term from Mr. Fisher’s superintendent title. 

“I am very appreciative of this show of support from our Board of Education.” Matt Fisher shared, “I have felt very supported by the board throughout the time I have been at GIPS. This gesture on their part further solidifies that relationship. More importantly, I am grateful to be a part of this great district and to continue the work of supporting our students and staff.”

Fisher has been with GIPS since February of this year.  In those eight months he has served on an interim basis leading the district through a 17-month contract.  His appointment capped a month-long search process after the previous Superintendent, Dr. Tawana Grover, resigned from her position in December of 2022.

As one of three finalists for the interim gig, Fisher was selected to step-in and lead GIPS until the Board had sufficient time to decide whether they wanted to launch a nationwide search for a permanent Superintendent, or offer Mr. Fisher the job.  

No stranger to the community, Mr. Matt Fisher has called Grand Island home for over a decade.  

Prior to joining GIPS, Fisher served as the Director of Public Finance at First National Capital Markets.  Most notably, he is perhaps best known for his time serving as Superintendent of Northwest Public Schools from 2012-2019. Entering the classroom in 1986, Fisher began his education tenure as a Math & Computer Science Teacher at Rock County High School. During his 33 year career in education, Fisher has also served as Superintendent of Chase County Schools, Secondary Principal of Chase County High School, and Secondary Principal at Rock County High School. Mr. Fisher carries an Education Specialist, Superintendent (EdS) degree from UNK.

In joining the district, Fisher has hit the ground running knowing since day one that the best way, he felt, to approach the job was with the intention of staying long term.

Mr. Hank McFarland, GIPS Board President, affirmed the decision.

“Mr. Fisher has done a tremendous job leading our District from the first day he set foot on campus.  Mr. Fisher leads with a pragmatic, calming and approachable style.  He looks at problems as opportunities, and he dissects problems down to their most elemental parts and provides realistic solutions.  He has been extremely supportive of his staff, and teacher morale has significantly improved under his direction.  As a Board, we are excited to have him leading our District, and by dropping the “Interim” from his title, wanted the staff and public to know that Mr. Fisher has our full faith and confidence in forging the path of GIPS for the future.”

From building relationships with every school leader, to visiting classrooms across the district, to narrowing the strategic focus for the district, to establishing instruction as the top priority for the 2023-24 school year — Fisher has cultivated a culture of trust at GIPS.

Going forward, the Board’s action of dropping the “interim” from Mr. Fisher’s title also means the Board will not conduct a superintendent search.  Fisher will remain on his current 17-month contract which is set to carry through July 2024.  The Board of Education will have the opportunity to renegotiate the contract after they complete Fisher’s next evaluation which is likely to be scheduled for November 2023. 

Congratulations, Mr. Fisher!  GIPS is glad you are staying!