SECRET LIFE OF MR. RAIMER

Substitute Teacher at PHS Discusses Previous Careers

Emma Johnson

More stories from Emma Johnson

RUNNING FAR
November 1, 2022
RELEASING MORE HOPE
October 26, 2022
Mr.+Raimer+smiles+for+the+picture+as+he+steps+outside+of+the+Foods+classroom%2C+one+of+the+many+classes+he+substitutes+for.+

Emma

Mr. Raimer smiles for the picture as he steps outside of the Foods classroom, one of the many classes he substitutes for.

As one of the most recognized substitute teachers at PHS, Mr. Raimer has held quite the reputation over the past eight years that he has been filling in for classes. With all of the allure surrounding his name, many students speculated about his past careers. 

Despite the rumors, Mr. Raimer’s tales reveal a unique perspective of serving in prestigious careers that some can only dream of. 

QUESTION: I think that it can go without saying that many students at PHS have heard different stories about you, with some of your former careers being a household name. However, let’s start at the most basic question: how have you gotten to the point of working as a substitute teacher here in Powell?

ANSWER: From the beginning, I was born and lived five miles next to Lake Ontario, with my mom originally being from Ontario and my dad from Quebec. They got married, moved over the border, and had a farm, but ended up selling that later, with the oats, Charolais cattle, and hay. For my education, I went back east to Genesee Community College, to University of Wyoming for my Bachelors and Masters, and started a Ph.D. at Colorado State. Later, when I worked as Director of Computer Services at Northwest College, I taught Computer Networking and I also taught while working on my Master’s Degree at University of Wyoming Computer Science classes. After that, I taught remedial math classes at Northwest College after I retired, and then when those moved to non-credit classes, I thought that [substitute teaching] would be fun at a different level, such as at a high school. 

Q: Relating back to that point of working with some familiar companies, is it true that you were employed with NASA?

A: I worked for Rockwell International, which was the leading contractor for the Space Shuttle, and I ended up working on telecommunications. Except it was in the Midwest, in Iowa, and I’m not a Midwest dude, so I left there. After that, I went from Iowa to become Director of Computer Services at Northwest College.

I worked for Rockwell International, which was the leading contractor for the Space Shuttle, and I ended up working on tele-communication. Except it was in the Midwest, in Iowa, and I’m not a Midwest dude, so I left there. After that, I went from Iowa to become Director of Computer Services at Northwest College.”

— Mr. Raimer

Q: With all of these jobs somehow basing on the skills of computer sciences, what led you to being gravitated towards the field?

A: I thought I’d teach math when I was in high school but I took one computer class, which was required for a math degree, and I thought it was a blast. It was so methodical with what you needed to do, and I really liked that part of computer science. The reason I left Northwest College was because I got married. I found a gal that worked at IBM in Rochester, Minnesota, and one of us had to leave [our] job. I was 13 years at Northwest and she was 16 years at IBM, so we went that way because we figured I could get a job better in Minnesota at IBM. When we went there, the ‘.com bubble burst’ in 2000 happened… IBM was laying off a thousand employees a year so that directed me to applying for state of Minnesota jobs in IT. I got on with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which had 230 applicants for a computer job. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, is a feeder to the FBI, and in fact I have a contact at the FBI, that I dealt with, to pass fingerprints, palm prints, and license plate reader. That reader would have two cameras in front of the police car and one in the back, where whenever the reader would go ding, that would mean it’s a stolen car. I supported the search of the car and finding information on the people. I also supported the email system for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the file transfer protocol to store information. 

Q: So let me get this straight: you’ve worked for a branch of NASA technically, a branch of the FBI in Minnesota, and you chose to substitute teach in Powell, Wyoming? 

A: It was something fun. I’m retired now, but when I worked in St. Paul, we both had our cell phones by the side of our bed every day, on call, and my wife also had a pager, so we had a total of five electronics devices. Day by day, that gets a little old, and with me getting a migraine every Tuesday at 9 AM until I retired in 2014, I knew I made the right choice. Now I get to really enjoy substitute teaching and go on other adventures with the time I have.