Across the hall from English teacher Lindell Palmer is a teacher with an equally beautiful laugh and smile, English teacher Riley Dishner.
However, this year was her last, as she will be resigning after five years of service at Fauquier High School. Dishner is leaving because her dad has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and she is going to go take care of him and help her mom with her family’s farm. She is loved by the students and staff, and they are sad to see her go.
“She was a great teacher who let us find our own paths through writing while guiding us if we need help,” said sophomore Paige Shorey, who met Dishner through her English class.
Dishner attended FHS as a student in the class of 2007 before working as a teacher. Following her graduation, she attended James Madison University and earned her Bachelor’s in English, and then transferred to Radford where she earned her Masters in English. Dishner went straight into teaching after obtaining her masters.
At first, Dishner didn’t want to return to FHS after graduating high school, but she came back anyway and said it felt like home.
“I was living in a different state, and I was given the option to go live in Europe and maybe pursue my doctorate,” said Dishner. “At the end of the day, I had to reassess and say, ‘Okay, what is my actual goal, what do I want out of life?’ What I want out of life is to feel belonging in a place, and that what I felt here.”
When Dishner began working at FHS, she didn’t know what to expect. “All of my colleagues, they were just throwing all of their lessons at me saying, ‘here have this, I’ll help you do that,’ and being so welcoming,” she said. Dishner came from an interning school that was very unfriendly, and she said it was a shock to come into such a positive environment.
One thing Dishner said she will miss the most about FHS is the kids. “I went into teaching because I love kids, and knowing that I’m doing something that matters feels really good.”
Her favorite memory was on her recent birthday. “I came in, and teachers and students had written on my door. It was one of those days when I came in, and I was upset about something, but then I was sitting outside my door laughing in the morning and thinking, ‘thank goodness, these kids.’”
Dishner said if there was one thing she wanted to be remembered for, it would be that she was a kind and welcoming teacher. “Just like I look forward to seeing them, maybe they look forward to seeing me.”
Senior Nick Hale, who knew Dishner from having homeroom with her for two years, says he definitely will remember her in that way. He described her as a good guide for him and a parent figure away from home.
“She does a really good job with giving me advice when I need it, and also being a teacher that I and a lot of my friends feel comfortable around.”
He said his favorite memory with her was stealing all of her chocolate and then constantly having her eat chocolate with him.
He added that he also enjoyed their good conversations when he comes and visits her. “We would talk about anything from current events to teaching to what’s going on in our lives.”
Dishner’s impact on the school and the student is undeniable, and although FHS will miss her, the school wishes the best future for her.
By Rachel Singleton – News Editor