End marks new beginning

Scott Geissler (picture by FPA)
Scott Geissler (picture by FPA)

One of the best known faces from Buckhaven High School reckons a new start has been signalled by the conclusion of his 42-year career.

Modern studies teacher Scott Geissler says retirement marks the beginning of the rest of his life, rather than the end of an era.

A surprise party and an invitation to present the awards at the school’s end of term ceremony was a fitting mark of the respect he held among friends, pupils and staff.

And now, fresh from attending the Royal Garden Party, it’s researching family history, expanding his malt whisky collection and doing some volunteering – plus going the see The Who in concert later this year – that are among the new priorities for passionate music fan Mr Geissler.

The 65-year-old, from Leven, said he would miss the pupils most, while he had also worked with many “interesting and enthusiastic” colleagues.

Originally from Edinburgh, he arrived, aged 23, at Methilhaven Road in 1972 – along with 25 other new teachers. The school leaving age had only recently been raised to 16, so there were many job opportunities for teachers at that time.

Mr Geissler taught humanities subjects – French and history for the first few years, before switching to his favourite, modern studies.

“I have experienced and taught pupils about some of the most important events in the 20th and 21st centuries, from the drama of the Cold War, the threat of nuclear Armageddon, the collapse of communism, the Arab-Israel conflict, countless elections at home and abroad, eight American Presidents, through to the two Gulf Wars and the events of 9/11 and Afghanistan,” he said.

“It was the ever-changing content of modern studies that kept me fresh as a teacher.”

Sporting holidays and school trips, as well as chairyt fund-raising also became a huge part of Mr Geissler’s career.

He and his wife Jan, a biology teacher at Buckhaven, have a son, Michael and daughter, Anna, both of whom are also involved in teaching.

He had now taught three generations of Methilhaven Road pupils – “a sobering thought” – and he hoped the role in school of modern 
studies, and social subjects in general, had been strengthened.

Of the pupils, he said: “They are the life blood of the school and it is their enthusiasm, openness and ability to constantly amaze that kept me going over the years.

“ I tried to treat every pupil equally, whatever their ability.”