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Principal facing inquiry kills himself, police say

February 2, 2018 GMT

SPRINGFIELD — The charter school principal placed on administrative leave Wednesday has committed suicide, Springfield police confirmed Thursday evening.

Springfield police Lt. Scott McKee said the wife of Michael Fisher found him shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday in the garage of their home in the 600 block of South 68th Street. He was deceased, and McKee said that police have ruled out foul play.

Fisher was the principal of the Academy of Arts and Academics, more commonly known as A3, since 2005.

But on Wednesday, school staff members placed Fisher on leave, pending an investigation “related to his conduct,” according to Springfield School District spokeswoman Jen McCulley.

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The school was placed in a modified lockdown around noon Wednesday, meaning no one could come in or out of the school for more than an hour as police officers and school staff members “worked through the investigation,” according to McCulley.

The ongoing investigation is criminal in nature, but McKee declined to elaborate.

Fisher had been an employee in the Springfield district since 1990. He worked as a teacher at Thurston High School from 1990 until he became principal at A3. Formerly an alternative school, A3 became a district charter school in 2009.

The school, at 615 Main St., has an enrollment of 340 students in grades nine to 12.

School officials sent this email to students and their parents about 8:30 p.m. Thursday:

“It is with heavy hearts that we need to share with you some sad and unexpected news. We are extremely sad to share that we have learned that our school director, Mike Fisher, died earlier today as a result of suicide. We have few details at this time. It is times like these where we rely on and support one another, especially in a tight-knit community like this one. Grief presents itself in a variety of ways, so know there is not one right way to process this information.

“If you find yourself in need of support, please reach out to an A3 staff member who can direct you toward appropriate resources. You can also reach out to any of the Crisis Response Team members, counselors, support staff and Mobile Mental Health Resource Clinic staff who will be present at A3 tomorrow (Friday) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will be available to provide support and resources for students and parents. Counselors also will be available for students when school resumes on Monday.”

Follow Chelsea on Twitter @ChelseaDeffenB . Email chelsea.deffenbacher@registerguard.com .