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Jim McGloin

As principal of Petaluma's Casa Grande High School, Jim McGloin never missed an event. Whether it was a play, a band or choir concert or a game, McGloin made an appearance to show his support for staff and students.

And he managed to do that without ever letting his own children feel neglected, said his daughter Mary McGloin, of Brooklyn, N.Y.

McGloin, who retired in 1993 after 21 years at Casa, died peacefully at home in his sleep after a long illness. He was 86.

"He was literally everywhere you wanted him to be. If you needed him to be there, he was there," his daughter remembered.

McGloin arrived at Casa Grande as vice principal when the school opened in 1972. The campus initially featured an experimental design of clustered classrooms without walls. But the design quickly proved a problem, and walls went up, McGloin's wife, Barbara, remembered.

McGloin became principal in 1982. During his tenure, the school excelled on multiple fronts and he took pride in its achievements, Barbara McGloin said.

He was a big supporter of the school's winning Academic Decathlon team, led by Rick Pillsbury. McGloin was a co-founder of the team. He also was a big supporter of teacher Tom Furrer's United Anglers group and their efforts to restore the fish habitat at Adobe Creek and later build their own hatchery.

Born James Joseph McGloin in New York City, he grew up in Queens. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Dayton in Ohio and his master's degree from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles.

It was while working as a teacher and principal at St. Anthony School on the Hawaiian island of Maui that he met his future wife on a student tour of Europe in 1969.

McGloin had a chance encounter with Petaluma schools superintendent Les Meyer at an airport in Hawaii and offered to help him out. McGloin took Mayer up on his offer to give him a call if he ever wanted a job.


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