Breaking barriers: Dr. Raquel Greer-the new USD 266 superintendent

Dr. Raquel Greer starts as the Maize district superintendent later this year. Greer wants to break down barriers and bring her sense of family to the people in the Maize district.

Bridget Johnson, Fusion Editor

Dr. Raquel Greer is the incoming superintendent for the Maize schools.

Dr. Raquel Greer is a leader.

Dr. Raquel Greer wants people to reach their full potential.

Dr. Raquel Greer is a mother of three.

Dr. Raquel Greer has three dogs.

Dr. Raquel Greer is extremely focused on her career and is confident in her abilities to lead a district.

Raquel Greer spent half a day at Maize High on April 13, something she hopes to do with all the schools in the USD 266 district before stepping into her new role. Greer is excited to get to know students in the district and to ensure they are getting the best education possible. (Photo by Madalyn Rhoads)

She started in Holcomb as a fourth grade teacher fresh out of college and ready to make an impact in her students’ lives. Now, Dr. Raquel Greer follows that same passion as she steps into the position of superintendent of the USD 266 school district: connecting with students, seeking feedback from those around her, and pushing the limits to uphold a high standard of education for students of all grade levels.

Dr. Greer is currently the Assistant Superintendent for the Mulvane school district, receiving positive feedback from parents and students on the many community programs she has created to bring the district closer. 

“During her tenure as principal of Mulvane Grade School, I was introduced to her when my child entered 3rd grade,” Brenda Lemer, a parent of a Mulvane student said. “Dr. Greer handled a unique situation that arose in the most calm, positive, and professional manner…During this time, Dr. Greer counseled me to remain positive, give encouragement, and was always available to talk when my daughter and I needed…I accredit my child’s success and perseverance during that tough time in life to her.”

Greer grew up in Liberal, Kansas with her parents showing her strength and hard work in their careers and inspiring her to demonstrate the same throughout her life.

“Both of my parents kind of basically built their careers and built themselves from just hard work and very very good role models for me,” Greer said. “My dad owns a business, or owns a business. I guess he sold it out in Liberal. When he was like maybe 16, he started and became an automechanic and then bought that business from [the owner] and really worked hard through his life to build that business. And then my mom put herself through college and ended up working different secretarial positions through that process and ended up as a deputy treasurer for Seward County. She was also the first woman county commissioner in Seward County.”

Between her mother and father’s encouragement and her mother’s experience with college, Greer always exhibited a passion for learning and school.

“I always wanted to be a teacher so I don’t think I ever even explored anything else,” Greer said. “I just knew. I loved school growing up and I had a lot of really good teachers. And my mom was always a really big proponent of my education because when she was in high school, she didn’t really get the opportunity to go to college right away. She really believed in that and worked hard to put herself through college later. I always just saw school as this thing you need to do and just kind of followed that.”

Despite being raised in a family where education was highly valued, Greer grew up like most kids: swimming in the summer, playing games with her sister, and making memories.

“My sister and I would love to lay on the trampoline and we would put sprinklers underneath the trampoline and so it would keep us cold,” Greer said “I probably will have really bad skin someday for that but it was fun.”

Memories with her family are one of the highlights of her childhood and have allowed Greer to stay connected with her family through her life.

“I can remember when Nintendo very first came out and I would lay on the floor and my sister and I would play Mario for hours,” Greer said. “We were on the front end of that”

Greer’s sister has been an important part of her life since they were children, remaining close to each other through high school and college.

Dr. Raquel Greer appeared for an interview on a OneMaize Media broadcast episode with Maize South junior, Lakin Zamarano. Greer hopes that in the next few months, she can connect with students by sitting down and talking to them and making herself as approachable as possible. (Photo by Madalyn Rhoads)

“She lives over here on the west side of town with her family. We were friends in high school, which is so weird. So we were like two years apart but we hung out a lot. And she has always been like my best friends and we ended up going to Emporia State together. A lot of times at ESU people thought maybe we were twins because we just were always together so that’s kind of fun. This is a nice move for me to come over this way closer; I get to be closer to her.”

While transitioning into her new superintendent role, Greer has been juggling her Mulvane responsibilities while also spending time visiting the Maize schools. In the little free time she has, Greer likes to work out and spend time with her family. 

“In my normal free time I like to work out,” Greer said. “I used to be more of a runner and do half marathons and things like that. But when you get old, it’s hard on the body, so I do less running and more lifting weights. I actually like to lift heavy weights so it’s just kind of fun.”

In addition to her two Pomeranians and Alaskan Malamute, Greer added an African Tortoise into her family for her son when he was young. Her tortoise, Steve, made news in 2017 when he escaped from their house and blocked traffic on 21st Street.

“The most interesting one is Steve,” Greer said. “He is an African Tortoise and my husband actually bought him for our youngest when Mason was eight. So he started out like literally [the size of your palm]. And he’s like one of the ones at the zoo and so Steve has grown over the last few years like literally 65 pounds. He lived in our backyard in the summer, right? And then just this last winter, we moved him to Tanganyika because he was so huge.”

Greer hopes that, when she enters the USD 266 district, she can make an impact on students the same way her teachers and support system did for her and continue to do today and make the district feel more like a family. Taking her childhood life and personal experiences as she gets older, she values connection and is passionate that education is about the student.

“She values input from all participants and treats everyone with respect,” Malena Heck, a senior at Mulvane High School. “She seeks input from students to create the best learning environment possible. She is passionate about education and cares greatly about students and families within the district.”

Greer has greatly enjoyed all previous stages of her life, from teaching fourth grade to high school to further leadership positions, and is excited to enter the next chapter. 

“When I was a teacher, I can vividly remember watching what the counselor did and I was like “ooh I like that,” Greer said. “I want to talk to kids more’ and so then I did that. And then as I’m working as a counselor, I’m watching, a lot of times you at an elementary school have to fill in for the principal. That’s just kind of a natural if they don’t have an assistant principal. And so I was like ‘I kind of like this’ and felt like I could make a big impact here. And then when I was a principal I was like ‘oh I kind of like that; I could do some stuff there’. And sometimes it was really a little bit about the barriers that I experienced at the time. I always remember feeling like if I could just get my hands on that, I could remove this barrier for myself. And so I move on as a superintendent.”

Make sure to watch Episode 7 of The OneMaize Show next Friday to catch their Q&A with our new 266 superintendent.