Longtime educator named Brewer’s Citizen of the Year

Posted Sept. 13, 2013, at 7:59 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — There is a woman in town who quietly gives back to the community and has been doing so ever since she retired after 34 years educating third-grade students at Washington Street School, City Councilor Jerry Goss said Friday.

Ellen Fisher was named Citizen of the Year at a ceremony last week during Brewer Days, he said.

“She was a lifelong educator who after retiring continued to give back to her community,” Goss said. “She didn’t want any recognition and I simply looked her in the eye and said, ‘Live with it.’”

Ken Hanscom, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, which hosts the annual community celebration, said Fisher got five nominations.

“She’s an active contributor to Brewer through involvement with several organizations,” he said. “She’s presently on the board of the Penobscot County Cooperative Extension, Brewer Public Library board, Community Services Council, and she’s affiliated with the Food AND Medicine council and St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church.

“Her work with the Community Service Council includes raising funds, distributing fuel assistance, food baskets for the holidays, and serving meals at The Salvation Army,” Hanscom said. “She has also worked as a volunteer at the Brewer Children’s Garden and in the church she’s been active in the food pantry.”

Goss said both Ellen and her husband, Charles “Dusty” Fisher, an Army veteran and former state representative, “continue to give back to their community in a quiet and unassuming manner.”

Brewer resident Abby Cyr, who nominated Ellen Fisher and is a former student, held the plaque and clock presented to Fisher during the ceremony.

“For me, that was a choke-up moment,” Goss said. “It was a former student saying thank you to an educator and that means a lot to me.”

The Vacationland Inn was named the Business of the Year. The owners, operators and half a dozen employees were on hand for the ceremony.

“They talked about it as a team effort,” Goss said. “I recognized them as an organization that took a facility from the bottom and put them at the top. The reputation of the previous establishment was not good. They’ve cleaned it up and they have a friendly staff. If you haven’t been there, I would suggest you stop in.”