The Fizzle, Commander 2.0, Younger Mr. Elliott… however you refer to him, you’re probably pronouncing his name wrong. This year, Lyme-Old Lyme High School has had the pleasure of welcoming a new faculty member into our school community: Mr. Richard Fisler. While he admits his name is technically pronounced “fiss-ler” rather than “fizz-ler,” he is too acquiescent to be much bothered by something he views as so minor. Those who take a class with Mr. Fisler know him as an animated, enthusiastic educator, and those who have not yet had the opportunity of meeting him most likely know him as the new Mr. Elliott. Either way, there is plenty still to learn.
Previous to Lyme-Old Lyme, Mr. Fisler worked in Madison, CT, where he coached fencing and taught physics, chemistry, and computer programming for six years. Prior to his teaching career, Mr. Fisler worked in industry. With this job, he was able to travel to locations within Central America and Europe. He even spent a few years living in Germany, where he recalls the excitement of the unknown and the “cool experience” of learning a new language and culture. In addition to his job in industry, Mr. Fisler also did some work for a non-profit which had him working in Uganda. The non-profit, known as Call To Care, was founded by a friend of Mr. Fisler’s whose mission was to raise money in order to build schools and drill wells in the remote villages of the country. Mr. Fisler worked with the non-profit for eight years, and he feels “very fortunate” to have been able to see so much of the world.
In addition to his impressive resume, The Fizzle also has interesting personal qualities. In his free time, Mr. Fisler enjoys playing the guitar, singing, riding his bike, and building on his farm. He also enjoys yoga, and he says he loves to cook– though he does not fancy baking. The Fizzle says that he likes to cook “fun things,” such as different omelets and experimenting with different combinations of vegetables and tofu. He is a vegetarian, and consequently enjoys cooking a variety of Thai and Chinese-style dishes. “I think you can just throw a lot of stuff in a pan and see what happens. And if it doesn’t work, then [when] you try it next time, you throw a lot of other stuff in the pan.” This is a philosophy that The Fizzle extends beyond the kitchen. “Life is like throwing a bunch of stuff in a pan and if it doesn’t work, you try to adjust it along the way. And you can’t be afraid to throw stuff in, right? Just like life: try things.”
Mr. Fisler is definitely not afraid of trying new things. When asked about his new job at Lyme-Old Lyme, he visibly lit up with genuine exuberance. He describes teaching at the school as being “a lot of fun.” “To come here in the morning… it’s a very comfortable place to be. I look forward to coming here every day. And that’s not cliche; it’s really a fun job.”
Though he does confess that physics is his favorite subject to teach, The Fizz refuses to name a favorite class. It is evident that Mr. Fisler has a true passion for teaching, as he becomes enraptured whenever an opportunity to talk about his students presents itself. From a student’s perspective, it is so much easier to learn from an educator who is so eager to teach, and it is inexplicably uplifting to have a teacher with such a fierce ardor for their profession.
Lyme-Old Lyme is fortunate to have such a wonderful new addition to our school community, and we hope The Fizzle sticks around long enough for us to get to know him even better before his next adventure.