Alisa Fenstermacher teaches at St. Michael’s School. She is new to the school and new to the fourth grade (after teaching eighth grade), but she is not new to teaching.
Fenstermacher grew up in Illinois and attended Illinois State University. She taught in schools in the Chicago area for over 25 years before moving to Arizona. She moved to Tucson after a visit over 12 years ago.
“I loved the weather in Arizona and I loved Tucson,” she says. She also met her husband here, she explains.
Fenstermacher taught at the Gregory School and tutored in the Old Pueblo before she started at St. Michael’s this past year.
“There’s nothing like teaching, and I love this school,” she says, adding that the St. Michael’s community extended a “wonderful, warm welcome to me. This school and I truly have a relationship.”
Fenstermacher was nominated by two of her students, Jackie and C.L.
Jackie writes, “Mrs. Fenstermacher is the nicest teacher I know. She is very funny, kind and giving. She understands if we need a break.”
Both Jackie and C.L. note that their teacher encourages students to help the less fortunate. C.L. adds that Fenstermacher treats students like mature individuals and doesn’t lose her cool over missed homework.
Instead, “she helps with things we don’t understand,” C.L. writes.
The spirit of giving is just one thing that Fenstermacher appreciates about her new school. But she stresses to her students that “looking to do things in the community” is not the only way to help others. “They need to look out for everybody in their class too,” she says.