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Shining Student Spotlight - Devin Zerkle

Shining Student Spotlight - Devin Zerkle
Shining Student Spotlight - Devin Zerkle
Devin with Ms. Buckley and others

In this week’s edition of our “Shining Student Spotlight,” we were overwhelmed by the abundance of positive feedback from teachers about this student, making it a challenge to condense this into a single article.  Junior Devin Zerkle from Kenton Ridge High School was a shoo-in for the spotlight this week!  Mrs. Megan Beal initially recommended Devin for the spotlight because of his dedication to both the Leo Club and Student Council, but his commitment to absolutely everything else he is involved in is what solidified his spot!

We sat down with Devin for an interview, check out what he had to say!

Q: What are you most passionate about?
A: I am most passionate about doing a good job in my classes while pursuing musical studies and helping out in any way I can at Kenton Ridge.  It could be helping a staff member, student, or participating in projects in one of the clubs I am involved in. 

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing?
A: I am proud that I have been able to keep a 4.0 GPA while being active in many clubs, being in and helping with the band and choirs at our school, and taking online college classes.  It can be hard sometimes, like around Christmas.  That time of year has a lot of community service projects, many concerts, and studying for exams.  I am happy that I am able to do all of this.

Q: What challenges have you overcome, and how have they made you a stronger person?
A: I feel that the biggest challenge I have overcome is being one of the youngest people in different groups.  I was in a couple honor choirs last year and I was one of the youngest members every time.  Since 4th grade, I was able to move up a grade in math, so I was never with my class for some of the day.  In middle school, I was a 6th grader in the jazz band and I was the only 6th grader.  As a freshman, I was one of the few that made it into the Symphonic Band.  It has made me feel like I have to prove myself more.  It has made me work harder towards the goals I have had.  It has also helped create friendships over the years.

Q: How do you make a difference in your school and community?
A: I believe that I make a difference by helping out in any way I can.  Whether it be for a school or community event, I always put everything I have into it.  I try to help any student that needs help by giving them the best advice I can.  I hope that I can be remembered as a person who could always give good answers and help out anyone who ever needs it.

Q: What clubs and sports are you involved with at KR or outside of school?
A: I am involved in Leo Club, Student Council, Model UN, High Q, Student Advisory Council, French Honors Society, National Honors Society, and Prom Committee at Kenton Ridge.  I am the Leo Club President and I am a Junior Class Representative in Student Council.

Q: What does “Cougar Pride” mean to you?
A: Cougar Pride means that you show how much you care about our school wherever you go, and you show you are proud to be a student of Kenton Ridge.  You show it anytime you can because you are proud of where you came from.

Q: What does “Once a Cougar, always a Cougar” mean to you?
A: Once a Cougar, always a Cougar means that no matter where we go or what we do in life, we will always be from Kenton Ridge.  It also means that we can return to where we came from, and can reach out to other people who went to Kenton Ridge.  We all support each other in the end.

Q: What advice would you give to your underclassmen?
A: I would say the best advice given to me when I was an underclassman that I truly believe in is to enjoy every moment because it goes by quickly.  I would tell all of the underclassmen this because it may not seem like that when you start high school.

Devin and other members of the percussion section.

Q: What has been your favorite memory throughout your years in high school?
A: It is very hard to pick one memory, but some of my favorite times are the trips we have gotten to take.  I have gone to New Orleans with the marching band and Chicago with the jazz band.  I will be going to New York this month, and France/Germany this upcoming spring.  These trips can strengthen friendships and make new ones.  The trips offer long-lasting memories with friends, while being some of the most fun times in high school.

Q: What do you plan to do in the future?
A: I plan to go to college for an education major.  I would like to go to college in Ohio so I can still be close to my family and friends.  I also want to continue to pursue music in college and after.”

We reached out to the teachers Devin thought would know him the best. One question we asked was if they could remember a funny memory with Devin, and they did not disappoint.  In general, Mrs. Buckley thinks every interaction with Devin is hilarious!  She remarked, “Devin's overall personality is lighthearted and humorous. He closely resembles the character of 'Bert' in "Mary Poppins" as he plays so many instruments and can sing that you never know which class he is supposed to actually be in.”  

Mr. Noyes has known Devin for four years, and commented that the one thing people needed to know about Devin was that, “Devin is talented in everything he does. He will answer any question in class, and is always right. He is a great team member in High Q, and leads in scoring. He is also flexible in leadership roles, allowing others to give direction, like in Model UN.”

We could sit here and list all the positive things Mr. Noyes, Mr. Templeton, Mrs. Berger, and Mrs. Buckley stated about Devin.  But, we’d be here for hours!  Take our word for it that Devin shines bright in every aspect of his life, which is why this week’s Shining Student Spotlight feature rightfully belongs to him!

Author:  Teagan Coffman (KRHS ‘24), Communications Intern