Hinckley High School graduate, Brenda (Berquist) Fischer was recently named Dean of the School of Education at St. Scholastica in Duluth.
Fischer is the daughter of Florence and the late Jim Berquist. She graduated from Hinckley in 1990 and went on to get her B.S. in Elementary Education at Moorhead State University, M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and a doctorate of education in Teaching and Learning at the University of Minnesota.
Both of Fischer’s parents were educators here in Hinckley; her dad was a PE/Health teacher and coach and her mom started as a business teacher and eventually became school counselor. Growing up with two parents who loved what they did made education an easy choice for her. She came back to Hinckley for the 1997-98 school year and taught third grade.
“I enjoyed that experience tremendously. I got to work with my mom as well as many wonderful teachers, some who I had when I was in school," she said.
Brenda and her husband, Aaron, who is superintendent of the Esko School District, have lived in Esko for the past 13 years. They have three sons. The eldest, Ben, graduated from Esko high school this past spring and will be attending college this fall. Quinn will be a senior this year and Riley a freshman.
When asked what her favorite part of growing up in Hinckley was, Fischer answered, “I loved growing up in a small town where I had so many opportunities to be involved. I was able to be involved in many different sports, music groups, church activities, etc. I worked at the Hinckley swimming pool for many years as a lifeguard and taught swimming lessons. When my dad passed away unexpectedly, the many friends and caring community provided the kind of support that only happens in small towns. Hinckley was a wonderful place to grow up.”
According to a press release from St. Scholastica, Fischer will take over her new position on August 1, 2017. Prior to this, she has served in St. Scholastica’s School of Education as chair of the undergraduate education program. In that role, she oversaw the undergraduate education programs at the Duluth campus (elementary education, five secondary education programs and two K-12 programs) and the Elementary Education Degree Completion program at St. Scholastica’s St. Paul campus.
“Dr. Fischer is a collaborative and innovative educator who has fostered positive change on behalf of students and faculty in all of her prior areas of engagement,” said Dr. Wolfgang Natter in the press release. Natter is vice president for Academic Affairs. “I look forward to our work together both on campus and in the region in her new role as dean of the School of Education."
Fisher added, “I look forward to our continued work in providing the highest quality teacher education programs and strengthening our community partnerships. Now is an excellent time to go into education, as there are teacher shortages in many areas.”
When asked, she gave advice to the HFHS Class of 2018: “Do not underestimate what you are capable of! Set high goals for yourself, work hard, and you really will achieve them.”