Arnold (Knox) McKesson remembers St. John Paul II Catholic School as a place of caring. “There was genuine friendliness and passion for your well-being in the community and in the curriculum,” he said. Now a student at Texas A&M University, he realizes how his time at JPII transformed him and prepared him for the future.
“I learned the importance of trying my hardest on every assignment and every grade because all the little things will pay off in the long run,” Arnold said. “I also learned the benefits of being genuine and outgoing. Learning these skills at JPII has helped me obtain many opportunities and be blessed with amazing gifts.”
Arnold and his family lived in North Minneapolis, and his mother enrolled him at JPII to nurture his faith. This required her to work more hours, he said, “But she consistently told me it would be worth it. I still reap the benefits to this day.”
The family moved to Texas after Arnold completed 5th grade. He attended a Catholic high school in San Antonio and is studying computer science in college. He works as an IT specialist at a nearby community college and coaches swimming part time.
“Ms. Weakley (a current middle-school teacher) was my favorite teacher,” Arnold said. “She always knew I had the potential
to be a great student and athlete. She really pushed me to move out of my boundaries and strive to be the best in everything that I do.”
He also rooted himself in faith, just as his mother had hoped. “My relationship with God and with the faith really came into fruition at JPII. I gained the knowledge and wisdom to know my faith and follow it effectively.”
“JPII was a vital part of my growth as a young man and student.”