Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences
YOUNG ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR AWARD
John W. Meuler, Arts '04
John’s first job out of college was as a volunteer teacher at Nativity Jesuit Academy. Fifteen years later, he’s now the school’s assistant principal, and his passion for education hasn’t changed.
“Some of my former students have now graduated from college,” he says. “That is a tremendous feeling, and I do believe that my work at Nativity has been able to transform lives.”
John has held six roles at Nativity — the others were coach, camp director, director of graduate support and director of middle school. In that time, the school evolved from a middle school of 60 boys into a coed K4–8 academy serving more than 250 students in Milwaukee’s Latina/o community. As a school leader, John not only encourages students to seek excellence, but also leads Ignatian spirituality reflections for faculty and works with parents to make sure students have the same expectations at home and in class.
Both of John’s parents were lifetime educators, and his father first introduced him to the value of Ignatian spirituality in education. “He taught me that working with adolescents is sacred work because you have the ability to approve of kids when they least approve of themselves.”
Community service opportunities at Marquette inspired John’s love for teaching. He hopes to continue helping his own community by giving students from low-income families the chance to receive a well-rounded education. “We have no shortage of talented children who will help us confront what we know are some entrenched challenges in the city of Milwaukee.”
Fun Fact: John met his wife, Alli, Arts ’05, on a weekend service immersion retreat at Marquette.