"Our tagline is, 'every student, every day'".  And I take every one of those words very seriously.  When we say every student, we are not talking about some of them, a few of them, or these ones, we are talking about every student, every day."  - Ray Queener, Ed.D.

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     Ray is in his fourth year as the Superintendent at Cambridge-Isanti Schools located in Cambridge, Minnesota.  He is a career educator who began teaching in 1990, with the Luck Public Schools, in Luck, WI, where he taught secondary math and was a K-12 Computer Coordinator/Coach. He has held positions throughout Minnesota as a Technology Coordinator and Director in South St. Paul School District, a Coordinator of Technology in Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley School District, the Director of Support Services in Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley along with Director of Finance in Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley. He later became Director of Finance for Stillwater Area Public Schools, then onto Assistant Superintendent in Stillwater where he served until June, 2013. Ray was selected as the Superintendent for the Cambridge-Isaniti Public Schools beginning July 2013, which is the position he holds today.
     Ray earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics from the
University of Minnesota with a minor in Computer Science in 1989. He continued his education by receiving his Master of Arts in Educational Administration from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in June of 1999,  and received his Doctorate in Education Policy and Administration from the Unversity of Minnesota in 2011. Ray also obtained his Superintendent Licensure in May, 2003. 
     While working in a large suburban school district, Ray directed the preparation and publication of a $100 million budget. He has successfully facilitated community meetings related to levy referendums and budget adjustment processes. He was a member of the district leadership team that coordinated a successful levy referendum in 2007 and bond referendum in 2013. In his career, he has also taught graduate courses for St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, while making time to volunteer as a youth coach for baseball, football and hockey.
     Ray has identified priorities and initiated steps which have helped in determining the success of programs in district-level departments. With continuing growth, Ray is committed to making the lives of all students the best they can be, and the greatest opportunity for ALL of them to gain constant growth in student achievement.  Ray is a huge advocate for professional development and continuing to learn the 21st Century way. He is part of
MASA (Minnesota Association of School Administrators), AASA (American Association of School Administrators), ASCD (Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development), ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education), SEE (Schools for Equity in Education) which he is on the executive board, SEE (Legislative Committee for Schools for Equity in Education), and Cambridge-Isanti Rotary Club

Highlights From The Conversation

     Ray has had an interesting career journey. He has served as teacher, coach, and coordinator for many years. He has also served as a school bus driver.  This non-traditional route to the superintendency has provided him with a broad district perspective.   He attributes much of his success to mentors he has had along his journey.

     3 Pillars:

  • Scholarship: Ray believes that he, along with those he serves, must be avid learners.  A large component of his work is the provision of opportunities to learn and to grow. 
  • Leadership: His district's motto is "every student, every day."  It is not just a slogan, but a way of being.  Ray believes in acknowledging and celebrating his students and his staff for their efforts and their accomplishments. His leadership pillar includes the belief that paying it forward, helps him stretch and grow.
  • Agency: Ray believes that educators must offer and provide students hope for the future. Giving voice to the voiceless, builds agency in each individual.


      Challenges that Ray is dealing with is funding and school/district culture.  He describes how the funding formula has impacted his school district, making it more difficult to address the needs of all students.  In our conversation Ray describes the role that district culture can play in helping to meet the needs his students, and the importance of making it part of his daily work.

You can listen to the conversation in its entirety in this week's podcast.

Resources Mentioned

District Website:

You can reach Ray on

The District Leader email:  podcast@disrictleader.net

You can subscribe to the District Leader on iTunes

The Sponsors
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Additional resources

You can reach Luis Valentino on

Episode 019: Ray Queener, Ed.D.