Chris Fiscus
Chris Fiscus

August 2, 2017

This fall, Chris Fiscus is stepping into the role of the new band director for fifth- through 12th-grade students at both the Coon Rapids-Bayard and Glidden-Ralston School districts.

Fiscus succeeds Dean Lamp, who retired from Glidden-Ralston after 36 years of teaching.

A Lake View native, Fiscus said he was excited to return to a small-town community with his family. His wife, Rebecca, a native of Rhode Island, will begin working as a vocal-music instructor at Coon Rapids-Bayard this fall.

After graduating from Lake View-Auburn (now East Sac County) High School in 2003 and from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in music education in 2010, Fiscus served as a substitute teacher at Glidden-Ralston for kindergarten through 12th grade.

After 2½ years, he was hired to help reboot a struggling band program at Eagle Butte, South Dakota, working with fifth- through 12-grade students.

A desire to live closer to his parents, Jeff and Brenda Fiscus of Lake View, prompted a move to teach at Omaha Nation Public Schools in Macy, Nebraska, located on the Omaha Reservation. Fiscus was the general band teacher on the reservation, teaching grades four through 12 for a year before he took a year off from teaching to home-school his two children. His son, Drew, is 6 and will be starting first grade at Coon Rapids-Bayard this fall, and his daughter, Erika, is 3.

Fiscus said he is looking forward to getting back into a school setting this fall. While working in South Dakota and Nebraska, he faced many challenges with his students, including the fact that they were not permitted to take their instruments home for fear they might sell them. He said he looks forward to being at a school where the students are responsible for their own instruments.

While growing up in Lake View, Fiscus was always involved with music. He played the trumpet in the high school band and loved to perform. He even considered performing as his career but took teachers’ advice to follow the music education route — which allows him to spend more time with his family while still being involved in music. In Coon Rapids, he is looking for local churches where he can perform, as well as any municipal bands.

He said he’s also grateful to return to Glidden-Ralston, where he knows staff members from his time as a substitute teacher there.

With school just around the corner, Fiscus said he is ready to go.

“I love being around kids,” he said. “It’s cool to get to know that you can really inspire the kids and affect their future.”