Mr. Patrick Connolly

Connolly, Patrick

English Teacher

615-822-2375 x5505


University of Florida, B.S.

Belmont University, M.Ed.

Year of Employment: 2005


I have taught at JPII since 2005 and this is a second career for me. In my previous life I was a journalist, working at several newspapers in Florida and then at The Tennessean, where I was a features reporter and editor. It was a great gig! (Prompt me and I’ll easily tell you a few stories!) But as much as I loved being a journalist, I love even more being a teacher. Like a journalist, I am surrounded by words — only now they are usually timeless words by revered authors, and touch on all aspects of life. I view myself as still an editor as well, with each of you as the reporters bringing your “stories” to me. Getting to know each of you and watch you grow in all sorts of ways, with reading and writing and most especially your view of yourself and the world, all come together for a great deal of life satisfaction for me.

I grew up in St. Petersburg, FL and graduated with honors from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. When I decided to go into teaching, I earned a master’s in education at Belmont, taking English classes to equate to a major as well. I did my student teaching at JPII and graduated as Belmont’s Secondary Education Student of the Year. It’s not the destination but the journey, right? Well, I’ve enjoyed the journey and am very happy with the destination as well.

On the personal side, I am married to Diane, the college counselor at St. Cecilia Academy. We met when we shared a cubicle at The Tennessean, where she also was a features reporter and editor. She’s my dearest friend in the whole wide world. We have five children, the youngest two still in college, and a dumb dog named Mac who we love, too. Our children all went/go to different colleges and I’ve gone along on many, many visits to colleges with my wife — ask me about all of that, too, if you’re pondering your college options (along with making use of JPII’s own college counselors!). We live in Brentwood and are members of Christ the King parish.

What do I do besides read what I’m teaching and grading a whole lot of papers? I like hiking and going to movies, gardening and going out to eat. It’s a wonderful life.