New student feature series: DeVonte Smith

New+student+feature+series%3A+DeVonte+Smith

by Trisha Jani

Each year new students join the community and perpetuate the diversity of passions, experiences, and aspirations flourishing on campus. Reflecting on their first month of attending the Upper School, sophomores and juniors share their backgrounds and their stories of adjusting to a new environment.

With a handful of new sophomores on campus, students may have noticed the unfamiliar face of DeVonte Smith (10) in the hallways, during lunch, or at football games. This summer, he moved from Pennsylvania to California to join the Upper School.

DeVonte attended Penn Hills High School in Pittsburgh for one year, before his guardian chose to move out. At that point, he decided to come to the Upper School because he considered it “a better school.” He admitted that the change in schools has definitely been a challenge.

“[The transition] is pretty hard, but I like this school,” he said. “It’s a nice school, and I like the community and the people in it.”

When asked about major differences between his old school and the Upper School, DeVonte quickly noted one thing: the Honor Code.

“These kids actually follow the Honor Code,” he said. “At my other school, if I leave my bag anywhere [and] look for it [within] the next five minutes, it is already gone.”

Additionally, DeVonte noticed a difference in the availability of teachers.

“I find the teachers a lot more helpful,” he said. “They are actually here to help you succeed in life. Usually, in my free time here, I am studying.”

A current running back of the Varsity football team, DeVonte recently helped contribute to the team’s victory in the game against Los Altos High School on October 13; he made 14 rushes for 160 yards, 10 solo tackles, and one touchdown.

“It is like everybody [on the team] is a family,” he said. “Everybody is successful, and everybody works hard for it.”

Although DeVonte does not plan to play any other sports, he is considering joining other clubs and activities, including Harker Business Club (HBC), as he becomes more integrated with the community.