Retirement Profile: Tim Fugere


Tim Fugere Photo credit: Asher Ballantine

Grace Peyrat, Writer

After working at Bellows Free Academy for 35 years as a science teacher, Tim Fugere is retiring. Fugere teaches both Biology and AP Biology classes. During his time at BFA, Fugere has made a lasting impact on the estimated 3,500 students he has taught during his career.

AP Biology student Brooke Holland (‘22) spoke highly of Fugere: “Mr. Fugere holds high expectations for his students because he knows we can meet them. Mr. Fugere pushed us to be the best students we could be while also being understanding. He was one of the first teachers to really hold me accountable for my work and learning and, because of that, I became a better student overall.”

Fugere’s current AP Biology student Loghan Hughes (‘22) said, “It is so clear in everything Mr. Fugere teaches and does how much he cares for his students.”

Another current AP Biology student Lindsay Bernard (‘22) agreed: “He cares so much about his students, and he’ll always go the extra mile for them.” 

When asked by The Mercury what his favorite thing is about teaching, Fugere said “The students.  Hands down, I love being in the classroom.  The energy they bring, the inquisitive nature and the relationships we build throughout the course of the year are priceless.” 

These relationships built also last longer than the four years a student is in school.

“I am still in touch with many students from over the years that are now parents of our current students.  Connections that go well beyond the classroom,” Fugere said.  He added, “I am so impressed with the stories students share coming back to visit or email me to keep me ’in the loop’ of their endeavors and achievements.”

The 35 years that Fugere has taught have also created many memories for him over the years:  “The strong bonds built with students that come back to take numerous classes with me over their years here at BFA.  Seeing teachers here at BFA that I had the pleasure of teaching as students and modeling the construction and importance of those relationships.  The professional friends I have made over the course of the last 35 years and all the lessons I have learned each and every year.  Field trips to climb Mt. Washington.  Coaching soccer for 16 years with Mr. Marlow…the list goes on and on.”

When asked what his favorite class was to teach content-wise, Fugere said “I guess I would have to say AP Biology.  It challenges both the students and [me] to develop an understanding that is strong enough to match college expectations and also ensure student success on the national AP Exam.  We spend a lot of time together over the course of the year, and very special relationships are developed.” 

Life continues on after retirement, and Fugere has plans for this: “I see many motorcycle and camping trips with my best friend and wife, Shelly. Trips to North Carolina to visit my daughter and son-in-law and our grandson, Willoughby.  Spending more time with family.  Traveling to destinations we have not been able to see because of the school schedule and I am sure I will be busy with projects around the house.  Eventually, my wife and I will find the perfect home to retire to where the weather is more conducive to riding my motorcycle for most of the year and our ‘kids’ and ‘grandkids’ are closer by.” 

Fugere also shared a plan he had to end up canceling: “I always planned on riding off on my Harley for a cross country trip right after all the graduating seniors walked out of the Collins-Perley, but with the extra days added on for snow days and Covid…that won’t be happening.”

When asked what he wanted to leave behind, he had this to say: “I am not sure what I could leave behind, but these quotes mean a great deal to me and anchor me to the foundation that has helped me build my career and the person I am.”

“One day you’ll be just a memory for some people.  Do your best to be a good one.” ~unknown

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ~John Wooden