Greer says his outlook makes him a strong choice for Board of Education
For Gregg Greer, everything changed when his granddaughter was born about five months ago.
Greer’s entire perspective shifted. He and his wife had moved to Park City three years ago, and they began thinking about what it would mean to put down roots here. He began wondering how he could leave his mark in the community that was now his home.
"I thought, ‘Why not get involved and try to make a difference?’" he said.
He ultimately decided that one of the best ways to have an impact is through education and filed to run for the District 1 seat on the Park City Board of Education. He will face incumbent Phil Kaplan in the race to represent neighborhoods such as Deer Valley North, Deer Valley South, Old Town, Sidewinder, Prospector and Thaynes.
"I’m a lifelong learner, and I’ve been involved in teaching youth through my church involvement over the years," he said. "Education is something that is in me, and something that I enjoy. I love the enthusiasm and the excitement and purity of young people learning and realizing their potential. I think you can make a big difference on the school board."
Greer said the outlook he has gained from becoming an empty nester — and a grandparent — would prove valuable to the Board of Education if he’s elected.
"With perspective comes more patience, and the smaller things don’t get blown out of proportion as easily and the things that truly matter seem to be more obvious," he said. "You’re not so wound up around the axle. You’re able to take a step back and take an overview and say, ‘Are we going in the right direction?’ Where I am in my life, I feel like I’m in a good position to bring that perspective and some of my life experiences to the Board."
Ensuring every student receives a top-flight education would be a key mission for Greer if he’s elected. He said he became keenly aware of the need to give all students the opportunity to succeed when he and his family lived in Japan, where his blind daughter could only attend a college that drastically limited her potential areas of study. They moved back to the United States to allow her the chance to chase her passions.
In Park City, he said, Hispanic students are the ones who are often at a disadvantage. He views efforts to reach out to Hispanic students and their families as essential.
"These are human beings with families, and they love their kids just like we love our kids," he said. "We’ve got to make every effort to help them. We have to make sure everybody has an equal chance. To the extent we can, we have to help them integrate, feel like this is their home and that the schools are open to them."
Greer believes his business background would also prove useful to the Board. He is currently a business consultant and previously worked as the general manager of a local property management company and of Powder Mountain Resort in Eden.
"The Board oversees the running of the school district, which is an operation, just like a ski resort or property management companies are operations," he said. "Having been the head of those two different businesses, and working a variety of jobs in corporate America, I’ve had a chance to assist companies in evaluating their performance."
If elected, Greer would evaluate the district’s performance by finding the biggest indicators of success — then rigorously evaluating whether the mark is being met.
"We’d have to, as a Board, say, ‘These two are three things are our key responsibilities. How are we doing and how do we know?’" he said.
Greer and Kaplan will not be on the June 28 primary ballot, as they are the only two candidates for the District 1 seat. Voters will decide who wins the position in the November general election.
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A district spokesperson said six students were removed from an area in the school as police conducted a search.