Luis Garcia-Quintanar, Battalion Executive Officer of the 127th Corps of Cadets, thinks of St. John’s as a second family. Before he arrived at St. John’s, he had chosen to relax his attitude towards school and had failed the tenth grade. His parents, Gabriel and Mayra, wanted to find a school that would have high academic standards and also a place to help instill values and principles that could serve Luis well in the future. The family believes the decision to send Luis to St. John’s has assured a bright future for their son. They explained, “ We are not only proud of Luis but also thankful for the imprint SJMS has left on our lives.”
While they missed having Luis at home, in the words of his mom, “It was very difficult the first few months. In the end it helped us value ourselves as a family and today we can say that Luis is an example of perseverance, commitment, and strength.” The family was hopeful Luis would turn his life around and feel very proud of what he has accomplished at St. John’s: receiving scholarships, earning good grades, achieving a high rank, becoming the second in command of the Corps, earning medals, being selected to the all-tournament team in soccer, and changing from a typical teenager into a responsible man with goals and objectives.
The experience has been very positive for Luis and he feels like his closest friends Gian Falossi, Xinyang Du, and Jacob Gengler are like brothers. He credits the St. John’s faculty and staff with “Always being there when I needed them and always being concerned about my welfare.”
This third year at St. John’s has proved to be his favorite. The leadership skills he’s learned while a Cadet have served him well in his position on the Battalion Staff. The experience of being on Battalion Staff has made Luis feel this way, “My brothers on Battalion Staff, we are like a family. I learned more about St. John’s, enjoyed having more opportunities, and learned lessons from running the Corps of Cadets.”
His parents sum up his three years like this: “Our experience has been very rewarding. Luis has shown, tenacity, and courage. We can say that this was the best school for Luis. The love that each of the people working at St. John’s shows towards the Cadets is incredible. During our visits to Kansas on parents’ weekends, we always appreciated the warmth shown to us. Graduation is memorable because when you witness the ceremony, you can feel the satisfaction of accomplishment, merit, and effort from both the Cadets and their families.”
Luis plans to return to Mexico following his graduation from St. John’s, attend college studying industrial engineering and business administration, and eventually join his father and brother in the family business.
“The staff and faculty at St. John’s has helped me over the past three years on everything; they are always there when I need them. Here at St. John’s I found my second family; they always worry about everybody in this school and you don’t find that in a public school.”