Where Students Dream, Believe and Do

Teacher Spotlight / John McCarley

Did you know John McCarley went to college
on a 4-year basketball scholarship?

Here is the rest of the story...

John McCarley

I was born in Logan County, Ky, three months before Pearl Harbor was bombed. I was a baby during war time. In the years that followed, things got pretty lean. I was in first grade when we got electricity in our house and ten years old when we got running water. Even so, my mom and dad had a goal—to be sure that their children got a college education, something they themselves were never able to attain. And they achieved that goal.

In high school, we had a basketball and a baseball team — I played both sports. My principal, Mr. Watkins, and my math teacher, Morton Collins, made a real difference in my life. It was their mentoring, encouragement, and love for education that motivated me to become a school administrator and teacher.

In 1959 I went to college at Lipscomb University on a basketball scholarship. I played four years at a position that would be described, in present day terminology, as a #2 shooting guard. We played in the first basketball game ever held in Municipal Auditorium downtown. We played against Western Kentucky — and we beat them! I was inducted into the Lipscomb Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992.

While at Lipscomb I got a degree in Math with a minor in biology with the intent to teach. After graduating, I taught high school and coached basketball for five years. At age 27 I decided to try my hand as a high school principal and stayed in that position for 21 years.

In 1990 I moved to Nashville, after retiring from public education in Kentucky, and became superintendent at Goodpasture Christian School. I served in that position for 12 years.

Following the death of my wife in 1999, I married Dianne in March of 2001. I had known Dianne for many years and we had dated during college. We will soon celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary.

In 2003 I came to NCS to get back into classroom teaching, because that is what I had originally intended and what I love to do.

This is my 47th year in education. I enjoy what I do — it is a great way to live and build relationships.

I still enjoy basketball; and even though I have season tickets at Lipscomb, I will always be a Kentucky fan. That is my heritage. Attending UK sporting events is a tradition that I enjoy with my family. I went to every Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt football game over a 25-year period. I also enjoy reading and I enjoy politics (but only as a spectator, not as a participant.)

In looking back, the most influential person in my life would have to be my mother. As a teen during The Depression, her parents could not afford high school for her nor her sister, but she got by and was as well read as anyone I have ever known. It was her influence and encouragement that motivated both my sister and me to become teachers. After my mother I would have to say my high school teachers and principal were the next biggest influence. Through their passion and confidence in me I was able to find my path in life.

My hope is that I have instilled the same confidence and self-worth in my students that was fostered in me by my teachers, principals and coaches. I also hope they leave here with a love and appreciation for education and academics in general.

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