Immaculate Conception Cathedral School 7th-graders recently paid tribute to the school and parish maintenance staff through a writing project called "Unsung Heroes." The class chose to recognize the maintenance staff as part of their monthly Random Acts of Kindness program. Students collaboratively interviewed all six of the staff members and wrote a brief biography on each one, which will be published in a series in this news section.
Mr. Ronald Everett Gant
Ronald Everett Gant has been working at ICCS for more than six months. He works in the church building cleaning the lobby, Marian Hall, windows and floors. His least favorite part of his job is moving heavy things, and his favorite part is meeting new people.
Mr. Ronald was born in Lawton, Oklahoma and moved to Memphis when he was 1 year old. His mom was born in Panama, and his dad is in the military in Louisiana. Mr. Ronald has two sisters and two brothers; he has no children and is not married.
His favorite food as a child was pizza, but now is chipotle burritos. His mom taught him how to cook, and he makes a great curry chicken, spaghetti, and lasagna. His favorite animals are dogs, and he has had a miniature Doberman Pincher, a Poodle and a German Shepherd. He always wanted a reptile, but his mom said no. Mr. Ronald would like to learn how to play the piano. He is not a musical person, but likes bands, especially rap, but the lyrics have to mean something. He would like to live in Florida because he enjoys the beach, sand and sun. He loves football and basketball, especially the Titans, Grizzlies and U of M. He played football at college in Lansing, Michigan. He still holds the record for the most tackles in a game at Raleigh Egypt High School. His hobby is watching ESPN, and he is a gamer.
Mr. Ronald’s hero is his mom because she taught him everything he knows. His favorite family tradition is Christmas when everyone gathers at his mom’s house. Mr. Ronald majored in Criminal Justice in college. Someday he wants to be a homicide detective. With everything going on in our society, he wants to be part of the solution, not the problem.
Lillie Ester, Winter Shields, Campbell Greenwood, Lily Reynolds, Sydney Broom, Arianna Pirtle
Mrs. Leshelle Lynn Nash
Leshelle Lynn Nash was born and raised in Memphis. She has worked at ICCS for seven months. She works in the new school building, cleaning the classrooms, bathrooms and walls. She takes a lot of pride in her work.
Mrs. Nash has been married to Michael Nash for seven years. She has three children: Jarmar, Jalisa and Stanquan. All her children are in the military and stationed in different parts of the United States. Her favorite football team is the Steelers. As a child, her favorite food was pizza, but now it is Buffalo chicken dip. Her favorite family tradition is when everyone comes home and gathers together for Christmas. She has one brother. Her favorite time of the year is winter. She doesn’t like any kind of animal for a pet because she likes to keep her house clean. She wants to learn how to sew because her mom’s friend knows how and sews a lot of things like clothes and household items.
Mrs. Nash likes to watch QVC and loves to shop in the malls. If she could live anywhere, she would live in Wisconsin because her son is stationed there and she loves the mall there. She really likes old television shows, especially "The Waltons." Mrs. Nash loves being a grandmother. She has twin grandsons who are 2 years old; they are her daughter’s children. She enjoyed seeing them at Thanksgiving time.
Haley Harris, Trenton Shivers, Jenna Grosser, Addison McDowell, Jared Chambers, Lizzy Fowlkes
Mr. John Nyak Key
John Nyak Key, also known as Mr. John, has worked at Immaculate Conception Cathedral for 15 years. His job is to clean classrooms, bathrooms and carpets. His favorite part about the job is his good schedule and that Mrs. Gephart is very kind to him.
Mr. John was born in the city of Waat, Sudan, East Africa. He had to leave the Sudan at age 15 because of war, and moved to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. He has been in the United States for 19 years. He has 3 children that he raises on his own: Pal, Thoat, and Nyawech. He does not have time for hobbies because he is very busy with his children and he goes to night school. He studies English and writing.
Mr. John’s favorite things are cows and summertime. He arrived in the United States in the cold wintertime, so he likes the weather that is closer to his home in the Sudan. He likes cows because he used to herd them as a boy and remembers the festival that celebrated the time to take the cows to pasture. His favorite meal as a child included bread, milk, corn and beans, but his favorite food now is KFC and pork chops.
Mr. John’s idol is his sister because she raised the children after his mom died when he was 3 years old. He likes being a dad and wants his children to get a good education and a good job. His dream is to learn theology and to preach someday. His church community at IC is his family and they give him courage.
Jamaal Bryant, Shannon Dorris, Madison Kjellin, Bradley Jellow, Allison Miller
Mr. Bruce Edwards
Mr. Bruce Edwards loves his job at ICCS, and has worked for the school for 20 years. He loves the students and is proud that he can influence them in a positive way. “Mr. Bruce,” as he is known, has a beautiful wife, Jennifer Edwards, three children, Jessica, Brook, and Brandon, and two dogs, Lady and Bobo, as motivation. Mr. Bruce does maintenance and cleaning at ICCS. He loves to fix things and does a lot of things around the school. His least favorite thing is to walk up and down the stairs since he has arthritis in his knee.
Mr. Bruce loves concerts and hanging out with his family. He is athletic and likes to play basketball and to roller skate. He likes to cook, and one of his favorite foods is chicken. He dreams of opening a restaurant called the Turkey Shack someday. He likes living in Memphis. He likes to make things and enjoys woodwork. His favorite time of the year is Christmas.
Mr. Bruce is a very friendly and intellectual man. He likes to help people in his neighborhood. If he could learn to do anything, it would be to fly a plane. But he would have to overcome his fear of heights first. His hero is his father. He believes in God and practices his Baptist faith. He loves when students who have moved on come back to visit. They always remember him and his great smile.
— Annabelle Russell, Sasha Broom, Sean Adrian Cullen, Jerry Fenton, Rachel Carroll
Mr. Antonio Inniss II
Mr. Antonio has worked on the maintenance staff at Immaculate Conception Cathedral for five years. He is 27 years old. His job includes fixing things, cleaning, watching the parking lot, and locking up the building. His favorite part of the job is the paycheck and the least favorite part is the lunch break that is just 30 minutes.
Mr. Antonio was born in Oklahoma, and because his dad was in the military he was raised in Chicago, Michigan, Louisiana, and Memphis. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and four children; Amelia 5, Deqeasha 14, Arihanna 7, and Antonio III, 1. His children go to Kingsbury School. His favorite hobbies are playing basketball and playing on his PlayStation. His favorite family tradition is Thanksgiving, because everyone gets together. His favorite food is curry chicken, and he makes his own special ramen noodle dish. His favorite animal is a German Shepherd, and his favorite time of the year is summer. If he could learn to do anything it would be to dance like Chris Brown, and if he could live anywhere it would be California.
Mr. Antonio’s hero is his dad, Antonio Sr., because he always wanted to be like him, even though he was in the army he was still close with his family. Mr. Antonio always loved basketball and wanted to play in the NBA, and his favorite dream car would be a Camaro.
— Alexus LaBarre, Lily Smith, Seth Taylor, Carlise Burnett