TCron Takes On a Tremendous Workload


Latin students of all ages know Tim Cronister for his school spirit, optimistic personality, and more recently, his electrifying “Romans cheer” at an Upper School gathering.

This fall, Mr. Cronister holds a number of key roles as he embarks on his 23rd year at Latin. In addition to his established role as Director of Student Life, Mr. Cronister accepted the position of Interim Athletic Director following Sonny Lim’s departure in June for “professional reasons.” Months earlier, Mr. Cronister agreed to take the responsibility of Service Learning Coordinator after Sarah Bunger’s resignation.

While community service activities and all-school events such as the cross-divisional buddy program are limited due to COVID safety guidelines, Mr. Cronister’s focus has slightly shifted to his role as Interim Athletic Director. With regard to his selection for the role, Mr. Cronister said, “I have had a lot of different administrative roles during the 23 years I’ve been here, and I’ve always coached and been involved with the Athletic Department.”

Throughout his career at Latin, Mr. Cronister has accumulated an impressive list of roles: Director of Special Programs, Upper School Director, Director of Student Life, Interim Upper School Dean of Students, varsity girls soccer head coach, and now, Interim Athletic Director.

With Assistant Athletic Director Liz Tortorello-Nelson’s departure from the department following Mr. Lim’s, the Athletic Department has several moving parts. Similar to Mr. Cronister, Middle School physical education teacher Glenn Stamas is serving an interim position as Middle School Athletic Director.

Overseeing a transitioning department has been a learning experience, according to Mr. Cronister. He said, “I’m certainly learning a lot about the nuts and the bolts and trying to triage some things from Mr. Lim’s departure, which isn’t his fault.”

In terms of the day-to-day operations in the Athletic Department, “Kathy Presberg and Dave VanderMeulen are doing a lot of work right now with scheduling, transportation, and hiring,” said Mr. Cronister.

In a time when students are eager to begin playing sports, the school is struggling to hire coaches and assistants. “Who knows why people aren’t available to fill these positions, but we’re doing our best dealing with that right now,” Mr. Cronister explained. Currently, the school is searching for an athletic operations assistant to ease some of the pressure off Ms. Presberg and Mr. VanderMeulen.

Upper School Dean of Students Joe Edwards said, “I think it can be easy at Latin for students, faculty, and staff alike to start swirling about whatever one perceives to be `wrong’ in our school.” However, he pointed out that “Mr. Cronister is a consistent and enthusiastic reminder of the many positives we enjoy as members of the school community.”

Mr. Cronister worked all across the school in the past year as the Director of Student Life. “I was helping out with COVID safety protocols in the Middle School and substituting for missing teachers in the high school. I was just here every day saying, ‘What do you need, how can I help?’” Cronister said.

Senior Vivie Koo, a member of the Roman-2-Roman (R2R) Steering Committee and the Theme Committee (both programs are advised by Mr. Cronister), said, “Mr. Cronister has made a meaningful connection with me throughout my time at Latin, and he is someone who I can talk to, and I know my voice will be heard.”

As a part of the R2R Steering Committee and the Student Service Learning Board, senior Remy Rigby, echoed Vivie’s thoughts and said, “I think Latin benefits from having someone like Mr. Cronister because of all the passion, drive, and devotion that goes into everything he does. … He is amazing at making sure everyone is accounted for and their voices are heard.”

Mr. Edwards praises Mr. Cronister for being “an unparalleled champion of the school, of its students, and of our collective potential to do amazing things both in and out of the classroom.”

“Put simply,” Mr. Edwards added, “he is the best Roman I know.”