Parents with son in graduation gown

March 4, 2020

After growing up in an environment constantly engaged in education, it was no surprise to Dave and Jan Cronin when their son Tim decided to follow in their footsteps.

“I was delighted when he asked us if ‘it would be ok’ to change his major to education. We encouraged him not only to go into education, but to pursue education beyond his Bachelor of Arts degree,” Dave Cronin says. “I knew that Tim would select the University of Iowa College of Education for graduate school because his parents’ experience at Iowa had been so positive. The College of Education has been a great choice for all three of us.”

Dave Cronin graduated from the College of Education with a doctorate in Educational Administration in 1974. He went on to become the superintendent of schools in Iowa City, and then served as the superintendent in two different districts in Wisconsin for 30 years. He retired in 2006, but still works as an educational consultant and leadership coach.

“My mother was an important influence on why I went into education. She taught for many years in northeast Iowa and Decorah,” Dave Cronin says. “I observed how dedicated she was and how rewarding it was for her to see students and former students being successful. I came to understand why education is such a noble profession and I was drawn to be part of it.”

Jan Cronin earned her Master of Arts in Education in 1976 from the College of Education. She returned to earn her doctorate in Educational Administration in 1986. After earning her Master of Arts, she became the assistant director of the College of Education’s Early Childhood Center. When the center closed, she worked in the Office of Student Services with practicum and student teachers, while also completing her Ph.D.

After completing her doctorate, she became the supervisor for K-12 language arts, social studies, and foreign language at the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District. During her tenure with the district, she was also the elementary coordinator and elementary principal. She retired in 2005 and worked as a consultant to teachers and principals, as well as volunteering in elementary schools.

“Becoming an educator seemed like the perfect job for me and it was. I can honestly say there was never a day in 49 years when I didn’t want to go to work,” Jan Cronin says.

Tim Cronin received a Master of Arts in 1993 and his doctorate in 2013 in Educational Administration. He has spent the past seven years as the superintendent for Central City Community School District and is in his first year as a shared superintendent with Dunkerton Community School District. He also serves as an adjunct lecturer in the College of Education’s Educational Leadership Program.

“Education is kind of the family business. Besides my parents, I have aunts, uncles, cousins, a grandmother, and a brother that are all teachers,” Tim Cronin says. “With that background, going into education was an easy choice. I stayed in education because I find learning exciting and interacting with students to be rewarding.”

Read more from our 2019-2020 alumni magazine