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DPS November Student of the Month: Ray Harrison


It is not an accident that Hillside High senior Louis Harrison II was selected as the Durham Public Schools Student of the Month for November.  Currently ranked fifth in his class, Ray is hardworking, dependable, astute and passionate about his studies.

Ray has not shied away from carrying a challenging course load.  He has taken honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and college-level classes throughout his academic career at Hillside. He has also received many academic accolades including the Principal’s All-A Honor Roll, the A/B Honor Roll, Scholar-Athlete Award, and the Superintendent’s All-A Honor Roll.

Ray’s achievements are not limited to the high school classroom.  He participated in the National Youth Leadership Forum in medicine and in the Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program at UNC-Chapel Hill. He was also selected as a participant in Duke’s prestigious STAR (Summer Training in Academic Research) program this past summer.  During his summer internship, Ray collaborated with professors to publish an article in The Journal of Pediatrics.  All of this experience has helped him decide to pursue a career in the medical field.

While he is proud of his academic achievements, they pale in comparison to how Ray feels about his role as a volunteer with the Spirit League, a basketball league for people of all ages with special needs.

“I started out as just a regular volunteer and have moved up to being one of the two main coaches for the league,” said Ray. “Before the Spirit League, I never had a lot of experience working with people with special needs. But this experience has taught me to never underestimate someone’s ability, capability, enthusiasm or strength based on a label they have been assigned.”

Ray has served in leadership roles in the Hillside Student Council and the National Science Honor Society and participated in the NC Association of Student Councils Summer Leadership Workshop for three consecutive summers. He is also a member of Hillside’s basketball team and the 2016 NC High School Athletic Association 4A Track and Field State Champion Team.

Ray hopes to attend UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University or Howard University.