Tim Reardon '86, longtime English teacher and basketball coach at SI and the alumni director since 2014, will serve as principal of Archbishop Riordan High School starting in August.
"I'm going to miss SI," said Reardon. "It has been my second family for more than half my life. I've developed so many great friendships here that it's hard to leave it all behind. Still, I look forward to making new friends and helping to build something terrific just four miles away up on Phelan Avenue."
At his new school, Reardon will join classmate John Ring '86, who had served as SI's alumni director and who now works as Riordan's director of development. "I'm very excited to work with my old St. Cecilia's buddy and friend of more than 40 years," said Reardon.
As a student at SI, Reardon played soccer and baseball and served as his class salutatorian before attending the University of Notre Dame, where he played baseball and boxed. He began teaching at SI in 1990 and received his master's degree in education from SFSU six years later.
He coached every level of girls' and boys' basketball at SI and helped the boys' team win three CCS titles and one league crown as well as a CCS championship with the girls' program.
"Coaching is an extension of the classroom, where you have the absolute attention of your students," said Reardon. "All the life lessons from the classroom are put under the microscope on the court because the players are working collaboratively toward a single goal."
He proved a popular and successful English teacher as well, given his own passion for writing. He saw the publication of two of his novels — Shadow Lessons and Part of the Game — and he taught his students, too, how to be successful creative writers.
"I think I was able to make my students laugh, and because they didn't want to miss anything, they paid attention, and then we could get down to the serious work," he noted. "They learned how to write, which is the one practical skill I knew they would use the rest of their lives."
He also made sure that his students learned the life lessons from the books he taught. "In my electives, every book that I chose to teach was one I loved and was passionate about. I hoped my students would recognize my passion and become lifetime readers."
Reardon gained a reputation for making his students feel at home in his classroom. "I made sure that I never had a kid lose his dignity in class, and that is a lesson they can put into practice throughout their own lives. I also taught them not to take themselves too seriously."
He also served as a moderator for The Quill and Inside SI and worked on a variety of boards and committees for the school, including the Principal's Advisory Board, the Financial Aid Committee, the Admissions Committee, the Technology Committee, the Discipline Board and the Faculty Salary and Benefits Team.
He left SI briefly to explore work as a police officer but returned to the classroom and served briefly as SI's Admissions Associate.
As the school's third alumni director, he followed in the footsteps of Jim Dekker '68 and Ring. All three men helped SI have one of the oldest and most distinguished high school alumni programs in the country. The three men created and fostered alumni chapters in Southern California, Arizona, New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Marin County and the Peninsula. They also expanded the office's outreach to young alumni, including graduates of SI's BSU, ASC, ALAS and performing arts programs.
Reardon managed 25 alumni events each year, assisted in the school's annual Alumni Giving program, supported social networking efforts, wrote stories for Genesis magazine, oversaw the Alumni Career Networks effort and supervised the 40-person Alumni Board.
He looks forward to working at Riordan along with the school's new president, Andrew Currier, who was named to that post last February. "The most exciting part of Riordan is that the school already has so many innovative programs in place. My hope is that I can somehow bring a fresh lens to those programs and initiate some of the great ideas that I've developed while working at SI."
Archbishop Riordan, which opened in 1949, is one of two all-boys schools left in the city. "Riordan reminds me of the SI I went to the mid 1980s, and that was such a great experience for so many San Francisco boys. It's imperative that a boys' Catholic school remain in the city."
Reardon is just as rooted in the city. He attended St. Cecilia School and has connections to SI from the days of his father — the Hon. Timothy A. Reardon '59 — as well as more recent connections that come from being the father of three daughters — Kathleen '14, Claire '16 and Lizzy '19.