James Jerome Perino, born in Dearborn Michigan, died peacefully in Coronado with his wife Lyn and children, Lyndsey and Tony, by his side.
Growing up, his family moved to Highland Park, California, where his younger years were filled with Indian Guides, Boy Scouts, sports, and the YMCA. He had a paper route and a job at the local hardware store after school.
Always knowing he wanted to be a teacher, Jim attended Glendale Junior College for a semester before transferring to UCSB. By then he knew he wanted to major in education with industrial arts as part of his major. His years at UCSB were filled with wonderful experiences. He joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and built lasting friendships. He met Lyn Zelle who was serving food in the cafeteria and told people he went from 155 to 170 pounds just going back for seconds. Lyn was, also, a very enthusiastic education major. He often spoke of their exciting journey together in a profession they both loved. Jim and Lyn were married Dec. 26 of their senior year.
After graduating from UCSB, Lyn and Jim were both hired by the Simi Valley School District.
The couple purchased their first home and started a family with daughter Lyndsey arriving in 1962. The role of dad was his greatest joy. In 1966 Jim completed his Masters at San Fernando Valley State College the same day that son Tony was born.
After seven years in Simi Valley, the family moved to Carpinteria, and Jim began his first administrative job as Vice Principal of Carpinteria High School, later moving on to principal of El Segundo High School, then Deputy Superintendent of the Burbank Unified School District. He completed his Doctorate of Education at Pepperdine University and was appointed Superintendent of Acalanes Union High School District in the San Francisco East Bay. The District served the communities of Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, and Walnut Creek.
Jim retired in 2000 and was honored by the California House of Representatives on June 14 in the Congressional Record: “Dr. James Perino emphasized challenging academic programs and electives, established benchmarks and standards, stressed professional development programs, increased the use of technology as a learning tool, campaigned for modernization and new construction funds, worked for win-win employee relationships, implemented the strategic planning program and developed strong business and community partnerships.”
He was respected and beloved by not only the education community but by all those who had contact with him.
Jim and Lyn were very excited about their retirement move to Coronado. It brought them close to their daughter, son-in- law, and two granddaughters. Time was now available to share the school experiences with his five grandchildren both in Coronado and in the Bay Area. The retirement years provided an opportunity to continue his love for teaching in an adjunct professor position at Point Loma Nazarene’s Graduate Program for five years. He was a proud member of Optimist Club, an active member in his local church, as well as serving on the Coronado Hospital Foundation Board. Playing golf and watching all the sports activities in Coronado and San Diego were always a real joy.
Jim was predeceased by his parents James Louis Perino and Dorina Perino. He is survived by his wife Lyn of 59 years; his children Lyndsey (Allan) Arendsee and Tony (Carrie) Perino; his grandchildren Allyson Darakjian, Andrea Cardillo, Christopher Perino, Cate Perino and Robbie Perino; and his sister Joyce Jennings.
Jim will be remembered as a man who loved his family and reflected on his daily blessings. His positive, caring attitude for others will always be remembered.
A celebration of Jim’s life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s Methodist Church, 700 D Avenue. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Coronado Hospital Foundation, 250 Prospect Place, Coronado, California 92118 or St. Paul’s Methodist Church, 700 D. Avenue, Coronado, California 92118