Erie High Welcomes A New Face To the Social Studies Department

Jamisen Helmer, Staff Writer

The Social Studies Department at Erie High School added a new face to the team this school year: Gabriel Fishman. Freshman and juniors have him for world history and U.S Government.


Fishman was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts and he has strong loyalty to the sports teams there, “I will root for every Boston sports team for the rest of my life no matter how long I live in Colorado.” Fishman says.


“As a kid I played baseball but I was pretty bad at it,like even in little league where most kids get to play all the positions. I was consistently stuck in right field, the least impactful position in little league. So, by the time I got to high school, I switched to running and really found my passion there. It really took off for me, and then I competed at the collegiate level for all 4 years.” Fishman recalls.


Fishman grew up with one older sister and a twin sister who is 10 minutes older than he is. His twin sister is still back east, living in Boston.  She works in Public Health and loves city life. While Fishman prefers being outdoors.


“Being a twin had its pros and cons. But growing up, it felt more like cons than pros. We’re very different people with wildly different interests and personalities, but because we’re twins, we had to grow up and participate in many of the same things, which caused us to butt heads a lot. Now that we live on our own and have both matured a lot, we are much closer than we were in school.“


Fishman received his Undergraduate Degree in History in addition to receiving a Minor in Political Science at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. While in college, Fishman was an athlete in cross country and track and field. 


“I used to come out to Colorado every summer and train at high altitude before returning back to the east coast. During those summers out here, I fell in love with Colorado, and when I graduated college I packed up a car and moved out here.”


With his sights set on a destination nearly two thousand miles away, he would find himself back in Colorado.“I am a pretty avid snowboarder. I spent the first two years I lived out in Colorado, living my dream as a full-time ski bum, and basically was on the slopes every day from November to May.” Fishman states, “Obviously, you can’t do that forever and you run out of money pretty quickly, so I had to go get a real job!”


As he was growing up, Fishman didn’t always know what we wanted to do career-wise. “I took a more circuitous path to education. I was ski bumming, working in restaurants, coffee shops, etc. But I always kind of knew in the back of my mind, it would be something I would really love. I had a degree in History and really loved the subject and finally decided I should go back to school. So during the pandemic, I got my Masters in Education from CU Boulder and I realized I had really found my passion.” he says. 


With CU offering seventy-three specific undergraduate degrees, fixed into approximately sixty majors within twenty-two expansive fields of consideration, Fishman chose to seek a Master’s Degree in Education. An educational path that would eventually lead him to the home of the Tigers; Erie High School.


“My parents definitely influenced my career choice.  My dad is a physiologist and works with kids and families a lot. My mom is a social worker in a hospital. So both of their careers are centered around helping people, which I think is one of the reasons I wanted to teach. If you can inspire young people to tap into their intellect and passions through teaching, I think you have really made a big impact on someone.” Fishman says.


During his time in college, Fisman says, “… I was placed at a school in Denver to complete my student teaching. While I was there nearly everyday, we spent most of the year online in remote learning because of this global pandemic that’s apparently going on.”


But what made Erie stand out against the rest of the schools “Erie is a great place to teach because the students are really great. You guys make me laugh all the time and think about things in really deep and meaningful ways. I also feel really supported by my colleagues. As a first year teacher, you are only as good as your support network, and I am beyond lucky to have incredible mentors and coworkers here at Erie that help me out.” 


Fishman recommends to those that want to pursue a career in education, “If you want to become a teacher you have to really love and be passionate about what you’re teaching. This job can be incredibly difficult at times, but if you are confident in your passion for what you’re doing, all the challenging days are made that much easier.”


It sounds like Fishman is a great addition to the already amazing staff we have here at Erie High.