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Community, schools still priority for Griffin
by Dan Eckles
Jan 30, 2013 | 4074 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela - Retired Sparks-area educator Tim Griffin has been a long-time Rotary Club member. He posed for a photo after Wednesday’s meeting.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela - Retired Sparks-area educator Tim Griffin has been a long-time Rotary Club member. He posed for a photo after Wednesday’s meeting.
Tim Griffin retired from the Washoe County School District’s ranks in 1998. Fifteen years later, you’d be hard pressed to find a former principal that is still so visible at his former school.

Griffin was the principal at Reed High School in east Sparks from 1992 to 1998. He still proudly wears the Blue and Gold and can often be seen in the stands at Raiders hoop games, roaming the sidelines at RHS football games and even taking in drama performances and other Reed events.

“(Current Reed principal) Mary Vesco has been nothing but kind,” Griffin said. “We get along very well. I hired some of the coaches over there. A lot of people I hired are still at Reed or somewhere in the district. I see Edward Reed (the school’s name sake) all the time. He’s a wonderful man … I do enjoy going to Reed stuff. I try to be supportive of everyone over there.”

Griffin has been a staple around Sparks schools and the community for a long time. He married his wife Pam in 1965 and the couple moved to the Rail City. Tim worked as a teacher at Sparks Middle School from 1965 to 1970 before moving to Sparks High School.

“I taught government and coached basketball,” Griffin said. “It was fun. Everyone was involved in everything in those years. You always had help. The schools were small enough then for that. Reed opened in 1974 and I stayed at Sparks. I remember Sparks didn’t really get along with Reed. Reed was the new kid on the block and always seemed to get everything new. If Reed got a new tractor, we got their old one at Sparks.”

Griffin continued to teach at Sparks until the 1982-83 school year. That’s when he took over as athletic director and a vice principal for the Railroaders. He handled that role until 1992 when he took over as principal at Reed. It was a golden era at that time for the Raiders.

“It was a great time at Reed when I went over there,” Griffin said. “We had the state’s longest winning streak in girls basketball, 80-plus games. Our boys basketball team was 20-1 that first year. Our track program was always dominant. We had a lot of good activities scholastically and academically.

“One of the things I liked at Reed, and Sparks too, was we had so many different things going on, theater, band, ROTC, student council. To me, what’s important for kids is they should be involved in something. I don’t care what it is, but if they’re involved, they buy into school a lot more and become a part of things. That’s so important.”

Griffin wound up buying into the high school atmosphere for almost 30 years and there’s a good reason why.

“The high school age is my favorite age,” he said. “It’s the point where kids are getting ready to go to college and get out in the world. It was so much fun to watch the kids grow up from being freshmen to their graduation. It was a real treat for me. I always enjoyed the kids and the learning experiences from the people I worked with.”

Griffin, who grew up in Carson City and graduated from Carson High in 1959, attended the University of Nevada where he studied education. He moved to Sparks shortly after graduating from college and has been here ever since. It’s a decision he’s never regretted, and as he admitted, there’s a lot to like about Sparks.

“I got married and moved to Sparks in a home off of Probasco,” he said. “I’ve lived here all my adult life. I’ve always liked Sparks. It’s got a small-town feel even though it’s grown tremendously. You can talk to most people. You run into people you know where ever you go.The city government is able. I know the mayor and some city councilmen. It’s just got that home-town feel.”

While Griffin left the daily grind of overseeing a school more than a decade ago, he’s stayed plenty busy in retirement. He’s stayed engaged in many community service groups, but he and Pam also have three children and five grandchildren to keep them busy as well.

“We’ve traveled all over,” he said. “I’m also involved in a lot of community things. I’m heavily involved in Rotary and have been for a lot of years. I’ve been on the Secret Witness board. That’s a very successful program and been gratifying. I enjoy working out and do a lot of exercise.”

Maybe being around all those teenagers for so many years has kept Griffin young at heart.


Favorite Food: Pasta

Favorite TV Show: The News

Favorite Book: Flight of the Earls

Favorite Sports Team: Nevada Wolf Pack

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