Some of Carson High School’s most distinctive characteristics — its block scheduling, senior projects, the culinary arts program and the high-tech center, among others — can all be traced the years Glen Adair spent as principal there.
“CHS is where it is today because of his leadership and innovation,” said Charles “Skip” Cannady. “I’ll miss him.”
Adair who served as principal of Carson High from 1992-2004, died Christmas Day in Massachusetts, where he lived. He was 69.
He came to Carson High after working as a pilot, then a football coach. He went on to become principal of Owyhee Combined School, then Elko High School. He was recognized as Outstanding K-12 School Administrator by the University of Nevada, Reno, in 2002.
When he retired from Carson High, he shared his philosophy with the Nevada Appeal.
“Treat your teachers good. Treat your students good,” he said. “Don’t let anybody screw with you and don’t let anybody beat you at home.”
A former football coach, Adair maintained a coach-like demeanor. However, former athletic director Ron McNutt said Adair’s interests extended well beyond the football field.
“He did enjoy athletics, but he cared a great deal about all of the students,” McNutt said. “He was devoted to the educational aspect of all the kids, even the athletes. He expected each kid to fulfill their goals and dreams to the highest they could reach.”
His support wasn’t in words only. McNutt said Adair was often seen at sporting and other events, both at home and away.
“He wasn’t one to be locked in his office,” McNutt said. “He was a visible principal.”
He showed teachers the same dedication he showed students, said now-Vice Principal Joe Girdner, who was hired by Adair.
“As a new teacher, he had a really big impact on me,” Girdner said. “He met with new teachers monthly just to make sure we were doing well. He really kept a pulse on everyone here.”
He said Adair was an advocate for the school both within its walls and outside.
“He knew the great parts of CHS and really shouted that from the mountaintops,” Girdner said.
Robin Bleuss, coordinator of the High Tech Center, a partnership between Western Nevada College and the Carson City School District, said Adair was not only instrumental in getting the center built but in creating her position there.
“He was very proud of this,” she said. “He went above and beyond. He just loved this school. I loved him.”
Carson City School Board president Stacie Wilke paid homage to Adair at Tuesday’s board meeting, and the influence he had on the community.
“He’s known as the father of the senior projects,” she said. “That’s made a tremendous difference in a lot of people’s lives.”
After leaving Carson City, Adair was the director of the American School in Durango, Mexico, for two years. In 2008, Adair and his wife, Kathy, a fellow educator, began their retirement together, spending time between the Massachusetts Berkshires and Mazatlan, Mexico.
He is survived by his wife and two sons, Ryan and Jedd.
Mary Pierczynski, former superintendent of the Carson City School District, said Adair’s commitment to the school was obvious.
“He was such a passionate man about Carson High School and the Carson High School students,” she said. “He lived and breathed his work there.”
What may not have been so obvious, Pierczynski said, was his commitment to his family.
“He was a very devoted family man,” she said. “That was a side to Glen people didn’t really see. But he so loved his boys.”
Carson City, she said, was changed by his influence.
“He really did reshape Carson High School in a lot of ways,” she said.