Dr. Greer reflects on his Cathedral career

Students are what make Cathedral, he says


Cathedran file photo

With Mrs. Jill Twilleager providing commentary, Dr. Tom Greer checks out some of the gag gifts he received at the year-end faculty and staff luncheon on May 23.

Ava Amos , Reporter

Dr. Tom Greer has served Cathedral students for 30 years, but his time here has come to a close. When he leaves campus on May 24, he will do so for the last time as an administrator. 

“I guess my work is done here; it’s time for other folks to come in and add their own traditions and things,” he said.

Greer has started many of those traditions over the years, some of them being counties, the blessing and Irish 500. And these traditions will continue to live on, with math teacher Mrs Lisa Ford set to take on the role of blessing singer. President Mr. Robert Bridges said, “My favorite memory of Dr. Greer is of course his singing of the Irish blessing, which he brought to Cathedral as a way to show our appreciation for our guests.”

Greer had an extensive background in education before his arrival here. At the time he was offered a job, Greer was a grade school principal, a role he had maintained for 17 years. He was principal at Central Catholic, “which happens to be the same grade school I graduated from,” he said. He was also principal at St. Bernadette School (which is now closed), he taught at St. Roch School and St. Gabriel School (which is now known as St. Michael’s School). “That’s 50 years,” he said.

“I’d always wanted to be in a high school, and Cathedral came and asked me if I would consider (a job),” Greer said. He added that his oldest daughter was junior when he came to work at Cathedral, “so I was known as Amy’s dad.”

He started as the dean of students, “which was basically overseeing all the kids’ discipline. It was a different school then, it was a little tougher,” Greer said. He added that the administration asked him to come work here “to get the school in shape.”

Greer also served as the vice principal for student affairs, “which is basically the same as dean of students. But I basically just hung around with kids and did activities and that kind of stuff, so it was a pretty good gig for 30 years,” he said.

Director of Campus Ministry Mrs. Charlene Witka, “My favorite thing about Dr. Greer is how he interacts with students. He loves just pulling up a chair and just chatting with them.”

As Greer was getting ready to step down from this role, he talked with the current vice principal of student affairs, Mr. Jere Kubuske, about the job, and gave him pointers as well.

Kubuske said, “He and I had a very long conversation last summer as he was preparing me to try to fill his shoes so to speak. He was able to give me insight and information about things he had done and why they were done that no one else ever could. He has done so much for this school and in many ways that people don’t even know or recognize. It was a great conversation and I had a renewed appreciation for him and all he had done.”

Greer said, “I’ll miss the students is the main thing. And I made some good friends here; a lot of them have already left and retired, but mainly the students. Students are what makes Cathedral.”

Greer said that he has a lot of good memories but his favorite is watching all but one of his children walk across the stage and handing them their diploma. “So that was nice, that’s a good memory.” He gave the graduation speech in 1997, he said that was also a memorable moment.

“There’s also a lot of memories where people have come together in hard times. It’s not like bad memories, but they’re really good because that shows the character of Cathedral,” he said.

Greer said, “I would hope that I’ve been able to guide some students, probably not all, through my actions and words to always do the right thing and try to do the right thing.”

Several educators who have worked closely with Greer over the years provided their final thoughts.

Witka said, “I will miss all the support he has given me through the years. I have learned so much from him. We worked really well as a team. I will miss not being able to bounce ideas off of him and even giving me ideas.”   

Kubuske said, “I will miss his guidance and mentorship. Moving into this role, it always helped having him be able to point out things that he had done or needed to be done that no one else would ever even know had been done.”

Bridges said, “My favorite thing about Dr. Greer is how he would appear in band shows and school musicals and plays. He is never hesitant about going outside his comfort zone to connect with students. This is a rare gift and will be missed.”

Principal Mr. Dave Worland said, “I think Dr. Greer will always be known for starting the traditions on the Irish Blessing. I hope that this is a tradition that never fades away.”