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Centre's new principal played football at K-State

Staff writer

When Centre’s new junior high and high school principal talks about school pride, he isn’t just a Kansan, he’s a Wildcat.

Donald Raymer played on the K-State football team for 2½ years while studying for a degree in secondary education and math.

He played tight end and fullback and started four games in his senior year. On Oct. 7, 2006, he was pictured on the front page of espn.com, falling just shy of a touchdown.

Raymer credits coach Bill Snyder for instilling his goals and core values. He tries to follow Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success, which is posted in his office at Centre. They include everything from commitment, to self-discipline, to responsibility.

Playing Division I football was one of four goals Raymer set for himself as a freshman football player at Garden City Junior College. He was successful in achieving all of them, including marrying the girl of his dreams, graduating with a math major, and becoming a head coach.

“I always knew I wanted to be a math teacher,” Raymer said. “I think it was because I had math teachers who made me want to come back to school every day.”

After graduating from Kansas State University in 2007, he returned to his hometown of Goodland to teach math and coach at his alma mater for seven years.

He taught alongside his former math teacher, Jackie Elliott, who was inducted into the Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame in June.

Elliott was his mentor.

“She taught me about leading people, not leading Donald, and doing what’s right for all kids, not just one kid,” Raymer said. “She helped me find a way to meld the classroom to provide education for all students,” Raymer said.

He said athletes tended to gravitate toward him, and he had to work at developing relationships with other students, as well, includeing those who didn’t like sports.

Raymers received his masters in school administration at Fort Hays St. University in December.

He taught math and coached football for three years at Garden City High School before coming to Centre.

This is Raymer’s first year as a principal. He will be coordinator of the Career Technical Education program. He was drawn to Centre by its long-term plan to incorporate hands-on technology training into its classrooms, Raymer said.

“We learn by doing,” he said. “Everything now is tech-based. I am excited to lead the district to continue to invest in technology education.”

He is married to his high school sweetheart, Aileen. She has been hired by Marion County Special Education Co-op as a speech and language pathologist for Hillsboro school district.

The Raymers live east of Marion and have three children who will attend Centre schools: Jordy, 9, a fourth grader; Jymer, 7, a second grader; and Jayda, 4, pre-kindergartner.

Last modified Aug. 9, 2018

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