Small town goodness in the hearts of those who serve

GUERNSEY – The definition of “power couple” according to Oxford Languages is “a couple consisting of two people who are each influential or successful in their own right.” There are also 12 signs according to that tell if you are a power couple.

Dan and Leisl Sisson fit that category nicely and most likely they fulfill at least 10 of the 12 signs. This week we will be looking at one-half of that power couple with bank president, Dan Sisson.

“I am actually from Guernsey originally,” Sisson said. “My dad actually graduated from Sunrise High School before they closed the school district there. I graduated from Guernsey-Sunrise High School before I left and went to Laramie to go to the University of Wyoming and graduated from there.”

Sisson’s grandfather worked in the mine in Sunrise and Sisson’s dad who graduated from Sunrise went into the air force for four years before moving back to the area and starting a family.

“My dad told me stories about the pin setters and how they used to have the kids set the pins,” Sisson said. “That’s what the kids did back then. They also played a lot of basketball in the YMCA. There is a lot of history up there. My dad graduated in ’62 or ’63 from Sunrise and he was the second to last class that attended there.”

Sisson, growing up in Guernsey, said he remembers growing up and loving the school and the community.

“That’s part of the reason I wanted to come back and work here,” Sisson said. “I just always liked the small town and I participated in several sports teams. Being a smaller school, I got the opportunity to play all the sports where that may not have been the opportunity at a larger school.”

Sisson played football, basketball and ran track. He also played golf and has done very well since coming back to Guernsey – even winning the Frederick Memorial Golf Tournament a few years ago. When he was still in high school, he was actually the first student to receive the $500 Frederick Memorial Golf Tournament scholarship in 1997 which at that time was the only scholarship that was given out.

Sisson has a double degree in criminal justice and sociology, which is good to understand the reasons behind bank robberies and how to solve the actual crime of robbing a bank, but there was more Sisson did in order to get him ready to actually work in a bank.

“My father was in law enforcement for several years for Platte County for 25-plus years,” Sisson said. “He worked as a Guernsey police officer for a couple of years and then spent a majority of his time with the Platte County Sheriff’s Department. So, growing up, I had an interest in that; so, I ended up going into the criminal justice field.”

He was originally hired by the Cheyenne police department and went through the academy, but after a year, he decided it wasn’t where he wanted to land career-wise.

“I got lucky and got the opportunity to take the management training program in Fargo with Community First,” he said. “I was accepted into that program and so that’s where I started my banking career.”

Sisson worked in Sheridan at Community First Bank before transferring to Gillette with the same bank. After they merged with Bank of the West, Sisson had an opportunity to move to First State Bank in Torrington and spent a few years there before spending two years in Wheatland where Dan’s brother, Derrick Sisson is bank president. 

After Derrick who was working for First State Bank in Guernsey got a promotion to the Wheatland Bank, it opened up a spot in the Guernsey bank for Dan Sisson to come home.

“I’ve been here now for 13 years,” Sisson said.

In those 13 years, he has run the bank, been a part of many organizations in Guernsey, found and married a wife and the couple has started a family.

“I actually met my wife at a boat party at the home of Eric and Kristen Jones in Wheatland,” Sisson said. “The first day it was nice enough to get the boat out of storage, they’d get their pontoon boat out of storage and clean it up and they’d have a party with the boat sitting right on the trailer in front of their house. So yeah, on a pontoon boat in front of a house is where I met my wife.”

At the time that the couple met, Liesl was teaching math in Wheatland at the high school. She graduated from a high school in Casper, so Sisson says that he married a big city girl. His wife who was initially supposed to be set up with one of the teachers in Guernsey was someone who he said caught his attention right away.

The couple got married and Sisson stayed as bank president in Guernsey while Liesl moved to a smaller town in Guernsey to assume the role of Guernsey-Sunrise High School principal. The couple also has a 2-year-old daughter named Claire who Sisson says pretty much consumes most of their time outside of work.

“She’s a lot of fun right now,” Sisson said. “And we also have the luxury of having my parents who live here in Guernsey that do a lot of babysitting for us. She spends most of her time with grandma when we are at work.”

The couple loves to golf together, travel together and are involved in both school and community activities.

“I’d like to retire here,” Sisson said. “We built a new home outside of town and it’s hard to believe we’ve been in the house six years almost.”

Part-two of the power couple will appear in next week’s edition of the Guernsey Gazette where we will take a closer look at our high school principal, Liesl Sisson.


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