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Business Notebook for Oct. 30

A roundup of business news in Fayetteville and Cumberland County


Fayetteville Academy names new head of school

Norman “Blair” Fisher has been named the next head of school for Fayetteville Academy, the school’s board of trustees announced last week. He will begin July 1.

Fisher comes from Mobile, Alabama, where he serves as head of school at St. Paul’s Episcopal School, the school said in a release to parents.

“I am honored that Fayetteville Academy is entrusting me to serve as head of school,’’ Fisher said in a statement. “I will work to the utmost of my ability to reward that trust while partnering with all members of the community to ever better serve FA’s students.’’

Fisher was selected after a three‐month, national search conducted by an 11‐member Head of School Search Committee and supported by Southern Teachers, the school said.

Fisher has nearly three decades of experience in independent school education, the school said. He has served as a teacher, middle school dean of students, middle school head, and head of school.

He currently leads a prekindergarten to 12th-grade school with 1,250 students and 185 faculty and staff members, the school said. While at St. Paul’s, Fisher more than doubled the school’s endowment while creating a successful planned giving program, the school said. He also oversaw more than $10 million of campus improvements and increased school diversity by over 50%, the school said.

He previously served as head of school at Charlotte Preparatory School and as head of middle school and dean of students at The Walker School in Marietta, Georgia, the release said.

Fisher has a bachelor’s degree in history from George Mason University and two master’s in education degrees from George Mason University and Kennesaw State University.

Fisher, the son of a military veteran, served in the Army.

He will work with the current head of school, Ray Quesnel, throughout the school year and next summer to ensure a smooth transition, the school said.

Two recognized for support of Cumberland County Schools

Cumberland  County Schools recently recognized two people for their support of students and the school system’s core values of excellence, innovation, collaboration, equity, integrity and compassion.

Ed Bala, a cafeteria monitor at Ponderosa Elementary School, received the October 2022 Extra Mile Award and Pastor Mark Knight from Epicenter Church was recognized with the October 2022 Committed Community Support Award, the school system said in a release.

The Extra Mile Award acknowledges employees who demonstrate a sustained high level of performance and inspire others to do their best, the school system said. Ponderosa Cafeteria Manager Glenda McDonald and Cafeteria Cashier Valerie Branch nominated Bala because they feel he is "honorable, faithful, loving, kind, dedicated and compassionate" toward the students and staff at the elementary school, the release said.

McDonald said that for the last 20 years, Bala, a military retiree, can be found every morning in the cafeteria greeting students and parents with a smile, the release said. Bala also monitors student behavior in the cafeteria and helps the staff. He also helps students with their reading and math work, the release said.

"I'm the person behind the scenes,’’ Bala said in the release. “This is what I do. No thanks needed."

The Committed Community Support Award is presented monthly to an individual or group for selflessly supporting the school system and helping students succeed, the release said.

Tianna O’Brien, the principal at J.W. Coon Elementary School, nominated Knight because of the support he and his church give while collaborating with her staff to help students and their families, the release said.

Knight and his church have organized schoolwide programs and community events like Hop in the Park, Operation Blue Star to support military-connected students and their families and a summer youth football camp at Terry Sanford High School, the release said.

"The church and lead pastor continue to show commitment to our school and students," O'Brien said in the release. "They are always willing to help our school and staff in whatever way they can. They are true examples of servant leaders and committed community members!"

Fort Bragg job fair set for Thursday 

Disabled American Veterans and RecruitMilitary are hosting a job fair to attract, hire and retain military veterans and military spouses in the Fort Bragg area.

The free hiring event is Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Iron Mike Conference Center.

Event registration and exhibitor information is available here: Fort Bragg Veterans Job Fair. There are 95 registered exhibitors.

RecruitMilitary works with service members transitioning out of the military and their families. Job seekers can meet with recruiters from local and national companies.

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