Who Are They? McQueen’s big gym gets its name from the school’s first principal


Editor’s Note: The following story is part of the Excalibur’s “Who Are They?” series. It seeks to answer the question: “Who are/were the people who have buildings named in their honor here at McQueen High School?” 

Story by Rae Jeanne Enriquez

John Flynn’s name looms over students every time they enter McQueen’s big gym.

His name has been there since the first time this year’s seniors walked in as freshman. It’s been there longer than any of McQueen’s current students have even been alive. Students have likely seen it so many times, in fact, that they don’t even recognize it’s there anymore. Like the lights illuminating the gym, we take it for granted. It’s ignorable.

But, if you’ve ever wondered, “Who is John Flynn? And, why is his name on our gym?” That story goes back to the school’s opening.

John Flynn was McQueen’s first principal when it opened in 1982. During his time as principal, he was known for hiring outstanding teachers and coaches, and for caring deeply for the students, said Denise Hausauer, his daughter and current principal at Damonte Ranch High School.

She said Flynn was also known to uplift the students and teachers, reminding them of how proud he was for their hard work. His focus was to get a reputation for McQueen established, especially creating academic program teams within the school.

When Flynn retired in 1990, the school held a celebration in his honor. On the last day of the school year, the school day was shortened and students and staff had a barbecue to celebrate his contributions.

The students and staff gave him numerous gifts as a big thank you. He was gifted a school ring, which he said he cherishes to this day, and last, but not least, the school named its gym in his honor.

Flynn still cares deeply about McQueen. He follows the current happenings around the school, and continues to stay up-to-date with its outstanding achievements. From time to time, he goes to the football games. Most recently, he also made an appearance at the graduation rate assembly in October.

The nine years Flynn served at McQueen formed a great foundation for the school, Hausauer said. She said he is always reminded of the school’s success and his contributions to the school when he stumbles upon former McQueen Lancers who recognize him.

“I’m very proud of McQueen’s accomplishments, as well as making a mark on the school,” Flynn said.

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