Blaise Messinger, the 2013 Connecticut Teacher of the Year, teaches sixth grade in Cromwell, where he has taught for the past 12 years. He started his career in education in inner city Los Angeles six years earlier. Prior to becoming an educator, he spent many years in California as a professional actor and was drawn to teaching after seeing the impact teachers had on his eldest son, who has autism. Mr. Messinger currently serves on the CT Teacher of the Year Council and several committees in Cromwell, including FIRE Academy. He is excited about the opportunity that FIRE Academy provides to increase the engagement, curiosity and humanity in classrooms in Cromwell and beyond.