Return to Headlines

Student of the Month | June 2021

James DeBerry
Our Durham Public Schools Student of the Month recipient for June 2021 is James DeBerry of Hillside High School.

Deberry was chosen to represent Hillside as DPS's Student of the Month for being a positive role model for other students. When DeBerry entered high school, he set a goal for himself and his family, promising his mother that she would not have to pay for college. DeBerry harnessed the support of his family, specifically his mother, leveraged the resources and opportunities Hillside made available to him, and carved a path for himself so that his goal to attend college for free came to fruition. Being the selfless leader that he has become, DeBerry created an opportunity to host an event on Wellness Wednesdays to share his path to success with rising seniors/current juniors at HHS His successes are commendable because he was able to persevere through the loss of his step-father, a classmate, and the pandemic.

“Although James experienced a few bumps in the road as he matriculated through high school, his focus on academic excellence was never compromised,” said Principal William Logan. “James is that student who stands up for the "little guy" because he believes in the fair treatment of all those around him. His kinship with hard work is a relationship that should be modeled by all--students and adults alike.”

After graduation, DeBerry plans to attend North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and wants to pursue a master's degree in Bioengineering.

“Some career goals of mine are to make the medical field more efficient through engineering, while also making the receiving of medical help less costly for those who may be less fortunate,” said DeBerry. “My main motivation is my mother and my sister as they’ve taken care of me and showed me the level of success that I want. A success that I’ve gained throughout my high school career while coming into multiple leadership positions and never letting my Extracurricular activities stop my grades from being above average.”

When DeBerry is not doing school-related activities, he likes to be involved in community politics and socializing with friends.

We are extremely proud of DeBerry’s commitment to the community and his peers at Hillside High School.