The beginning of the 2022-23 school year brings a litany of new school administrators in the area. The Public Opinion caught up with a few new faces to discuss their moves to area school districts. This edition, the subject is Decorah School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Cronin. Astute readers might recognize the surname, as the Cronin family has deep, storied roots in Decorah, including several generations of teachers in the area.
“My grandfather, Harold, owned a Sinclair station in Decorah,” began Cronin. As the story goes, one cold day in 1960, Johnny Cash (yes, that Johnny Cash), was traveling through Decorah when his antifreeze-less car froze up. The chauffeur of the vehicle took the car to Harold Cronin’s service station, and upon returning to collect the vehicle, took off without paying. Then, 17 years later, Harold Cronin received a check from the man in black himself, not only for the debt, but with interest as well.
However, Cronin isn’t solely interested in stories from the past, he’s interested in the stories that are coming in the future. Cronin comes from a family of educators and himself has an extensive teaching background. While he said his hometown is Iowa City, he claimed Decorah as the place that most feels like “home” to him. A 1990 graduate of Luther College, Cronin then went on to teach at Linn-Mar for five years, was a principal in Marshalltown, spent 10 years in Wisconsin as principal, then became superintendent at Dunkerton, which in turn became a shared superintendent position until he found his calling to Decorah.
“This has just been always kind of our place,” said Cronin. “We were always the ones always clogging the streets, going to Mabe’s, just always visiting here.” Now that he can officially call it home, Cronin said he’s most excited about not only the quality of the school district, but also the quality of the community that supports it.
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