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Isaac McClinton: Aimed for high school

Ozark Catholic helps student find his faith, voice, career path

Published: September 1, 2021   
OCA grad Issac McClinton is majoring in education at Benedictine College in Kansas.

Setting up an assist on the basketball court is something Isaac McClinton knows how to do. Off the court, McClinton has set up an assist that should score big for the only Catholic high school in Northwest Arkansas.

McClinton, 19, is a member of the first graduating class of 2021 of Ozark Catholic Academy in Tontitown. He transferred as a 10th grader to help found the high school with 22 fellow students. McClinton recognizes he was a part of a team effort in establishing the school, its culture and the basketball program. In his three years at OCA, he played point guard, led the basketball team as captain and was awarded All-State in basketball his senior year. He also served as one of four key leaders in the school as head boy and as a member of the student ambassador program.

“OCA helped me talk about my faith and express it,” McClinton said. “I gained a deeper understanding of why we believe what we believe, and it gave me confidence to talk to people about my faith.”

Since graduating, McClinton has spent several months as a counselor in the summer program at St. Joseph School in Fayetteville. This fall, he will attend Benedictine College in Kansas with plans to pursue a major in education and a minor in history. Coaches and teachers in high school have been influential in his career choice, McClinton said. “My dream,” he said, “is to teach in high school and to coach basketball.”

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