John T. Arnett was a member of the Magoffin County Board of Education for 36 years serving from 1948 to 1984. During his tenure there he served as the chairman of the Board of Education and made such a profound impact that a school was constructed and named after him in the community of Gunlock. Gunlock is a small community along state route 7 near the Magoffin County / Floyd County line.
When the Magoffin County began the process of replacing older schools, John T Arnett and neighboring Salyer Elementary were combined to form South Magoffin Elementary.
When John T. Arnett closed in 2008 the enrollment had fallen to just under 70 students enrolled in grades K-6. In the late 80s nearly 300 students attended class at John T. Arnett in grades K-8.
In 2012 the school building was auctioned off to the highest bidder. Local Pediatrician, Dr. Yassin Khattab, M.D., bought the former John T. Arnett Elementary when the school was auctioned off, obtaining the school, three outbuildings and all the property surrounding the school that the Magoffin Board of Education had owned.
According to an article in the Saylersville Independent Newspaper, Dr. Khattab had looked into various possibilities for the use of the school, but ultimately decided to donate the entire property to the South Magoffin Community Activists after they met with him about their vision.
The property now serves as the South Magoffin Community Center & Park.