St. Bonaventure University


Fisher, Anne-Claire

Anne-Claire Fisher

Inclusive Special Education
School of Education

Associate Professor, Inclusive Special Education
Program Director
Office Phone: (716) 375-4033
Send an email
Plassmann Hall B35
  • DIFF 504. Communication and Collaboration Skills for Standards-Based Inclusive Education
  • DIFF 506. Language, Literacy, and Communications for Students with Exceptionalities
  • DIFF 512. Advanced Behavioral Strategies
  • SPED 340. Classroom and Behavioral Management
  • SPED 430. Assessment and Assistive Technology for Children with Exceptionalities
  • Ed.D, Special Education Administration and Leadership, University of Arizona, 2009
    • Dissertation: Exceptionality and parent-professional conflict: Causes, prevention, and resolution. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. 2009, under the supervision of Drs. Pysh & Chalfant. 
  • M.A., Severe and Profound and Multiple Disabilities, University of Arizona, 1998
  • M.A., Francophone Literature, University of Arizona, 1986
  • B.A., English, Université des Sciences Humaines, Strasbourg, France, 1981
  • Certification, 1998 K-12: Students with severe, profound, and multiple disabilities. 
  • Certifications, 1993 University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. 9-12: Post-Baccalaureate certification in French & ES
  • St. Bonaventure University, 2007-present
      Associate professor, Differentiated Instruction Master’s Program

      Hired to teach graduate classes in the differentiated instruction master’s program, such as “foundations for inclusive education” (DIFF 511), “advanced behavior strategies” (PBIS: DIFF 512), “advanced support systems” (DIFF 550/504), and “language, literacy, and communication for students with exceptionalities” (DIFF 506). The differentiated instruction program targets the entire spectrum of students with exceptionalities from those with gifts and talents to those with varying levels of disability (mild, moderate, and severe). Additional duties included teaching undergraduate classes in Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS, SPED 340), assessment in special education (SPED 430); an introductory class to education freshman (U101), a capstone seminar on critical pedagogy (CLAR 401:2010, 2011); as well as proposing a class on critical multicultural education (CLAR 208). 

      Duties also include service to the department (differentiated instruction program review, Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Specialized Professional associations (SPA) report for the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) review, seek and maintain meaningful special education internship sites in local schools; creation of new class on language, literacy, and communication-(DIFF 506), the university, and the community; editing and reviewing peer manuscripts (CEC), and publishing and presenting scholarly work. 


  • Pilot Parents of Southern Arizona (PTI), Tucson, AZ. 2005-2007
      State improvement grant (SIG) coordinator 

      Duties included providing professional development to charter schools across Southern Arizona on special education legislation and mandates, inviting parents of children with exceptionalities to speak to teacher candidates at the University of Arizona, and closely collaborating with the State Department of Education. 

      During this time I was trained as a coach for the Department of Education and coached school/district groups chosen to participate in statewide professional development in RTI, Literacy, and Arizona High Achievement Academy (AHAA with Diana Browning-Wright)

  • Vail Unified School District, AZ. 2000-2004
      Inclusion specialist 

      Duties included primarily collaborating with general educators and staff to include students with exceptionalities (Autism, behavioral issues, and multiple disabilities) across settings, leading a team of twelve paraeducators, as well as organizing required individualized education planning (IEP) meeting with parents, faculty, and related services. In addition, I led person-centered-planning (PCP) meetings for transition purposes in student’s homes, and served on special education leadership team for the district. I also was instrumental in obtaining a transition grant from the Arizona department of education for the sum of $30,000. 

  • Catalina Magnet High School, Tucson Unified School District, AZ. 1998 – 2000
      Special education teacher  

      Duties included leading a team of three paraeducators, teaching a classroom of ten students with multiple disabilities. In addition, I increased the inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classes. 

  • The Center for Habilitation (TCH) Group Homes/VA Hospital Work Enclaves, Tucson, AZ. 1994-1996
      Habilitation technician and Job coach 

      As a habilitation technician, duties involved caring for clients with moderate to severe disabilities, and involving them in many home and community activities. As a job coach responsibilities included teaching and modeling work required, as well as supervising and collaborating with regular staff and supervisors.

  • French Language Instructor, 1987-2004. 
      Adjunct faculty, Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ 1994-2004
      French teacher, Catalina Foothills School District, 1993-1994 
      Graduate teaching assistant (GTA), University of Arizona, French and Italian Department. 1987-1993

      Duties involved teaching undergraduate or beginning French basic language requirement classes, assessing learning and administrating exams. 

  • Photograph Archivist, 1982-1985.
      Black Star France, Paris 
      Collectif Presse Image, Paris
      Gamma Presse, Paris
      Camera Press, London

      Duties involved archiving and providing the daily, weekly, and monthly press with requested photos. 

  • Institute of Education Library, London, 1981-82
      Library Assistant

In preparation: 
  • Fisher, AC. Conflict and parents of children with disabilities: The presence of absence. 
Refereed Journal Articles Accepted for publication  (7/2014): 

  • Brawdy, P. & Fisher, AC. Experiencing the Carlisle Indian Industrial School: Situating a critical pedagogy in teacher preparation within the context of history. In Fear-Segal, J. & Rose, S. The Carlisle Indian School: The site of Indigenous, memories, and reclamations. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. 
  • Fisher, AC. (2008). Understanding conflict between professionals and parents in special education. New York State Counselor Association. 5(1), 18-32. 
  • Fisher, AC. (2007). Creating a discourse of difference. Citizenship, Education, and Social Justice. 2(2), 159-192
Non-Refereed Technical and Research Report:

  • Fisher, AC. & Brawdy, P. (2012). A Report on the Status of Overrepresentation of American Indian Students in Alternative Education and Special Education in the Salamanca City School District  
Refereed conferences: 
  • Fisher, AC. & Brawdy, P. (11/13) “Relative Risk of Being Referred Out of the Classroom:  Appropriate Intervention or Segregation?  One Community’s Story”. National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) conference, Oakland, CA. 
  • Fisher, AC.; Makl, Yvonne; Benjamin, Angell; Nuñez, Tiffany; & Witter, Jake. (11/12). “Back to the future: the travels of St. Francis, slamming “thisness”, and a diversity workshop for elementary education student-teachers”. National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) conference, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Fisher, AC. & Brawdy, P. (10/12). “Experiencing Carlisle Indian Industrial Boarding School (CIIS): Situating a critical pedagogy in teacher preparation”. Carlisle, PA: Site of Indigenous histories, memories, and reclamations. Dickinson College, PA. 
  • Brawdy, P; & Fisher, AC. (4/12). “Putting critical pedagogy into practice: The challenges and opportunities of a racially-diverse student teaching placement”, Submitted to the American Education Research Association (AERA), Vancouver, BC. 
  • Brawdy, P., Fisher, AC., Vester, K., Bain-Lucey, F., & Hlavaty, K., (11/11). “Borderland Praxis and teacher education.” National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), Chicago, IL. 
  • Fisher, AC.; McIntyre, D.; Palmquist, A.; & Schmick, K. (10/11). “University-agency collaboration: Creating the space for parents to educate teachers.” Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Rochester, NY. 
  • Brawdy, P.; & Fisher, AC. (4/11). “The Experiential Impact of History: Grounding our Pedagogy in the Landscape of Carlisle.” American Education Research Association (AERA), New Orleans, LA.
  • Brawdy, P.; Fisher, AC.; Thompson, C.; Schroeder, A.; Peterson, L.; & DiBattista, M. (11/10) “Considering Culturally-Responsive Praxis in Student Teaching:  The Development of a Pilot Capstone Course”. National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) conference, Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Fisher, AC.; & Plummer, C. (11/09). Conflict between Parent and Professional as the Path to Building Inclusive Schools". The Association for people with Severe Handicaps (TASH). Pittsburgh, PA. 
  • Lawrence-Brown et al. (11/09). Critical Perspectives in Inclusive Teacher Preparation: Part II. TASH. Pittsburg, PA. 
  • Fisher, AC.Conflict between Parents of Children with Exceptionalities and Professionals: An Opportunity for Transformation. CEC. Niagara, NY. 
  • Lawrence-Brown et al. Critical Perspectives in Inclusive Teacher Preparation: Part I. TASH. Nashville, TN. 
  • Fisher, AC. Leadership and inclusion, Summer Institute on Inclusion Northern Arizona University (NAU), Phoenix, AZ.
  • Fisher, AC. & Plummer, C. Candid Dialogue? Arizona Department of Education Special Education Director’s institute, Phoenix, AZ.
  • Fisher, AC.; Strayer, L.; & Lee, C. From Inclusion to Transition – Weaving the path for a student with severe mental retardation. Arizona Department of Education conference on Transition, Tucson, AZ. 
  • Fisher, AC. Student Centered Activities for Learning French. Foreign Language Symposium, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
2011/2014: St Bonaventure
  • Collaborated with the Franciscan Center for Social Concern and Dr. Brawdy and raised $5000 for a service trip to St Michael’s Indian School in Window Rock, AZ, with 6 undergraduate students. Subsequent trips occurred in May 2013 and February 2014 with similar amounts of monies invested.
  • Martine-Keenan Grant for $5066 to take four students to NAME conference in Chicago (11/11).
2010/2011: St Bonaventure
  • Community Based Learning Grant Initiative (CBLI), $4000.00, to enhance a graduate class focused on working with families of children with exceptionalities by collaborating with a local agency that provides supports to families of children with exceptionalities. 
  • Community Based Learning Grant (CBL), $4000.00, focused on an undergraduate capstone class to assist in journey to revisit the Carlisle Indian Industrial Boarding School in spring 2011 in collaboration with the Salamanca School District students and faculty. 
  • Lenna Visiting Professor Scholarship, $13,000.00, Norman Kunc – Disability Rights advocate -  was invited to St Bonaventure campus for two weeks. 
  • St. Bonaventure University, Center for Community Engagement, $1000, Oren Lyons - Onondaga chief and member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) - invited to talk on the Doctrine of Discovery.
2009/2010: St Bonaventure 
  • Fr. Mychal Judge Center for Peace and Reconciliation $15,000.00: trip to Ireland with Seneca teachers and St Bonaventure students.
  • St. Bonaventure University, Center for Community Engagement $2,000.00, to organize visit to Carlisle Indian Industrial Boarding School. 
2001/2002: Vail Unified School District 
  • Vail Education Foundation, $5000 grant for age-appropriate software focused on literacy development for high school students.
  • Arizona Department of Education, Arizona Transition Outcome Project grant $30.000 
  • University of Vermont, Dr. M. Giangrecco, $1000 mini-grant to pilot a training document designed to pinpoint paraeducator management and training issues. 

  • 2011: An award from the Mental Health Association Cattaraugus County (MHACC) for work done during the course of classes focused on cross-systems collaboration and working with parents of children with exceptionalities. St. Bonaventure Differentiated Instruction graduate students interned with parents with the mission of identifying specific problems they might have with schools and then helping to resolve them. 
  • 2005: Scholarship for superior academic performance during the course of the doctorate. 
  • 2000: “Jackie” Award from ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens) for teaching and being an effective inclusion advocate.
  • 1988: Scholarship for superior academic performance during the course of MA in Francophone literature. 
  • 1988: Member of Pi Delta Phi (Honorary Academic French Society)

I model what I teach. I believe that building a close community of learners is the necessary setting for high student achievement.

Key to hooking students into learning is the ability to genuinely engage them personally, getting to know their interests and motivations. The path to this end as the teacher is to balance a demand for rigor and in-depth content knowledge, with an opportunity for mastery and the ability to practice until the knowledge is attained.

I practice personal transparency along with humor. I believe we all bring something to the table and I will learn from my students along the way.

Technology is infused in my teaching and embedded into all of my classes. It helps simplify, clarify, reiterate expectations (syllabi, assignment guidelines, class power points), expand on the topic (additional websites and resources, current research), assess (online quizzes), and provides students with immediate feedback on their efforts.

My passion for education and what I teach helps me to engage others into listening a while longer. I encourage discussion and questions and do not shy from discussing current educational issues. The ideal of the practitioner/scholar is one that I aspire to emulate. Simultaneously I believe we must equip our students with the ability to make sound decisions and think critically, as the population they serve is changing rapidly.

To this end we must help them reach beyond practice and skill building to grasp the importance of theoretical work found in current research dealing with complex issues (Dewey, 1904). Additionally preparing them for the research to practice gap and dysfunction currently found in the field will help retain them in the field.

Schools embody society’s multiple facets and our educational system is experiencing much turbulence. In this age of increased accountability it is important to preserve the ideal of social justice, understanding that schools and the teachers can become the conduit for transformation (Aronowitz & Giroux, 1987).

Ethics and heart are vital components of the teacher toolkit, and a cooperative, fully inclusive, and democratic classroom is at the core of the change. Since the students we serve in public schools will only increase in diversity (ability, color, culture, language, resources) it is important to help future teachers recognize their own culture and biases, as well as fuel their desire to better meet the needs of students of difference.

I am always interested in challenging students to question and research areas they might be interested in, encouraging their affiliation to professional organizations. I have been instrumental in starting a new chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) on campus, and have co-presented with students at state and national conferences at least three times (CEC -11, NAME-10/11).

I feel a sense of urgency in my role as a teacher-educator. We desperately need more talented teachers able to respond and challenge the needs of the students they serve as during these tumultuous times.

Contrary to popular belief, teaching is not for the faint of heart.

  • Critical, multicultural, and transformative pedagogy and its effect on pre-service teachers
  • Disproportionality in special education
  • Working with parents of children with exceptionalities



  • Undergraduate elementary education majors (19)
  • Co-chair of the Yankelovich endowed fellowship program: a committee whose purpose is to develop current and future leaders dedicated to the transformation of society based on the Franciscan ideals of peace, justice, reconciliation and service. 2010-present
  • Faculty senate curriculum committee. 2010-2012
  • Adhoc professional development committee focused on bringing about greater teaching and mentoring expertise to faculty at large-2009-2011
  • Graduate council committee-2007-2008, 2012-2014
  • Disability committee-2007-2011
  • 2011: Iroquois Spiritual Conference at St Bonaventure 
  • 2011: Collaborative work with Mental Health Association of Cattaraugus County (MHACC) to place students with families of children with exceptionalities (DIFF 550) 
  • 2011: Professional development on Positive Behavior Intervention Supports at Salamanca Middle School: 2/2011
  • 2010, 2011: Collaborative work with the Salamanca City School district: organized two trips to Carlisle Industrial Boarding School, PA with high school and university students (CLAR 401 capstone class), high school faculty and Seneca community members. 
  • National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), 2013 - 2014
  • American Education Research Association (AERA), 2009 - present
  • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), 1998-present
  • National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), 2009 - present
  • The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (TASH), 1998-2009.