Meet the Deans

Maria Kereakes, Junior Writer

This 2019-2020 school year, DePaul Prep received numerous new additions to the community.  This includes Mr. Voss, dean of upperclassmen, and Ms. Greer, dean of underclassmen. 

Deans Voss and Greer have multiple roles, in which they split amongst themselves. Some of their role include morning supervision, lunch, and detention supervision, and overseeing academic support. 

In any school, the common misconception of a Dean is to be the authoritarian official who makes sure all the rules are followed. However, at DePaul, our deans challenge this idea by making sure students feel welcome and comfortable, and by establishing relationships. 

The avenue staff took some time to sit down and ask both deans questions about their roles and jobs and interests; at DCP and beyond.

Question: what made you want to become a dean? 

Dean Voss: “I have had a variety of roles. I started off as a high school english teacher and then I became a technology director. As a technology director, I was mostly working with teachers and training them with the technology. When I was in technology I really missed being away from the students because I think that was my original calling, that is why I became a teacher. I figured becoming a dean will give me the opportunity to interact with students, make connections, and hopefully becoming a role model for them.” 

Dean Greer: “I found out last year after being interim principal that I have a knack for relationships and helping to empower students. As I joined the community I realized that being dean of students was a good fit for me.” 

Question: why did you choose to work at DePaul? 

Dean Voss: “I was here two years ago, working on the technology side. I really like the community aspect of DePaul Prep, it is a smaller school so you get a better chance to know the students, faculty, parents and community members. I like the faith aspect as well because I think it is teaching students between right and wrong. I like the progression that is happening with the school. I was here in the earlier stages when it was moving away from Gordon Tech to DePaul Prep. It is really cool to see the growth in the last six years and be a part of that. With my current role, I have had the chance to sit in on those leadership meetings where we are making decisions moving forward. Having my voice being heard in making those decisions is pretty cool to be a part of.” 

Dean Greer: “Five years ago I visited DePaul during an exploratory. During the exploratory I spent a day with students and faculty going to classes and doing a STEAM lab. When I walked into the building it was warm, welcoming and there were lots of smiles. I never forgot my day there. So when I got the opportunity to join the community, I seized it.” 

Question: what are you excited for when you come into work every morning? 

Dean Voss: “Every day is a new day, you never know what to expect. You have your day to day expectations lined up but there are so many things that happen within the day that you are not expecting. Every day you have to be on your toes, ready for the unexpected. Most importantly, my favorite part is coming in and seeing the students. One of my roles in the morning is to stand by the bag room, and it is a great way for me to greet the students. Seeing the students in the hallway gets me excited every day, seeing them, and hoping for a great day ahead.” 

Dean Greer: “The students. I love talking to the students, learning to pronounce their last names, I love hearing stories about their families, what makes the students sad, I love sharing my own experiences. The students are why I am here and I’m in love with the students and with their stories.” 

Question: what is your favorite thing to do outside of work? 

Dean Voss: “I’ve been trying to get a routine of working out. I try to stay healthy, I like to run. So I’ll either go run or go to the gym and work out. I love to golf, when I can on weekends I will get on the golf course, it’s relaxing. I’m a big movie-goer. I like hanging out with my family and friends, I have a niece and nephew. Being an uncle is fun as well.” 

Dean Greer: “ I love to read, talk to my children, even though they don’t want to talk to me, to spend time with my husband, we’ve been dating for 35 years, married 28 years. I have a dog and a cat, I love being with them. I like going to restaurants. I want to say I love to travel, which I do, but that is only once a year. I love to learn, I go to school outside of this too. But to be honest, I really love watching Netflix and Hulu.” 

Question: what are some ways you try to make the students feel comfortable? 

Dean Voss: “The typical stereotype of the dean is to be the bad guy or bad woman, the disciplinarian. Moving forward we want to do a balance of both. We want to make sure the students feel comfortable and safe, it is about building relationships. For me personally, if I can build a relationship with a student and gain their trust, it is so much easier to have conversations. If they are getting in trouble or if there is a discipline that needs to happen, it is so much easier to have a conversation with a student if you have that relationship built, rather than going up to them and pointing fingers. I am trying to build these relationships first because then I think then, you can have the best of both worlds.” 

Dean Greer: “I joke around a lot, I smile a lot, ask them about their day. I really try to establish relationships. I joke around saying I’m the mean dean or fear Greer, but I don’t want anyone to fear me. I want students to feel empowered, I want students to feel empowered by me. I want students to feel comfortable with me. I want them to follow the guidelines and the policies to keep themselves safe. Not because it is a rule, because it is ethical and we have a relationship built on trust.” 

The deans have only been at DePaul for a short time, but they are excited to get to know all the students and start off the year strong.