CATSKILL — A Catskill High School graduate who died of cancer this spring will live in the halls of the school in perpetuity with a plaque dedicated to her memory.
Jodie Lynn Carl Fisher teamed up with fellow student Kevin Jocelyn in the late 1980s to paint a colorful mural of a skateboarding dinosaur outside the high school gymnasium. The painting has become an iconic depiction of student life in the MTV era.
When Fisher died on March 11 at the age of 50, her father Robert Carl had the idea to place the plaque in her honor near the mural, which still adorns the halls of the school.
“She will be remembered for her artwork and left in her memory,” said Wendy Casalino, a teacher at Catskill High School and cousin of Fisher.
The gold plate bears an inscription: “In Loving Memory of Jodie Lynn Carl Fisher, March 22, 1971 to March 11, 2022, class of 1989”.
Fisher’s two sons, high school Griffin and second Lucas, both attend their mother’s alma mater and recently visited the memorial.
Fisher, who was working as an art teacher in the Saugerties Central School District at the time of his death, painted the mural with Catskill graduate Jocelyn more than three decades ago.
“We were both in art class together in first grade,” Jocelyn said. “I had helped Annie Sands (former Catskill student) paint the fat cat mural and had Mrs (Carol) Hetherington do mine. My concept was a mural of Rip Van Winkle sleeping in the mountains. For some strange reason (former Catskill High School principal), Dick Stickles didn’t like the idea because the barrel could mean alcohol. So he said to come back with something else.
“Mrs. Hetherington said dinosaurs were popular and me and my friends were skateboarding and freestyle BMX (cycling). So I asked Jodie to draw the dino skating and I drew the mountains and Catskill. From there, we both installed the mural and painted when we were in class together or had free time.
Jocelyn said the artists understood the incongruity of painting a dinosaur in the hallways of the Catskill neighborhood, home of the Cats.
“By the time we finished, neither of us was 100% happy with the idea because it didn’t fit the school,” he said. “I saw a few years later that someone actually did a Rip Van Winkle theme. Still, Jodie and I laughed and had fun doing it. She was a great girl.”
Prior to his stint in the Saugerties District, Fisher previously taught at Cairo-Durham Central School District and SUNY New Paltz. She is survived by her husband Thomas Fisher of Athens, her two sons and two brothers, Robert Carl and his wife Vee of Athens and Brian Carl of Jewett.