Peele’s perseverance brings praise

Published 7:33 pm Friday, January 29, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

CHOCOWINITY — Derontae Peele is a shy, quiet young man, but his perseverance in getting a good education has earned him the respect of his teachers.
Peele, a freshman at Southside High School, has been selected as a BCS/WDN Teen Spotlight subject after being recommended by Freda Potter, one of his teachers. Potter based her recommendation on the Beaufort County Schools’ Character Education program.
“My composition classes were recently assigned a research project. This was the first time most of these students had undertaken such a task, and it was a challenge to them,” Potter said. “Derontae’s effort and determination to complete this process correctly has been extraordinary. As we worked on the assignment in the computer lab, he asked for assistance and feedback through every step of the project. In addition, he frequently came to me during my planning period to ask for guidance.”
Putting forth the extra effort in his classes is important to Peele.
“I want to get good grades in high school. I want to get an education,” he said.
Peele, the 16-year-old son of Angela Smith, shares that philosophy with his younger siblings, Shyheen and Kenitra.
“Try your best so you can make good grades,” he tells them. “That will help you get a good job.”
Peele’s career ambitions include joining the Navy and becoming a welder after high-school graduation. He said service in the military will help him see life outside eastern North Carolina.
“I just want to get away for a while and do something,” he said.
Peele attends church every Sunday with his family. In his free time he enjoys playing basketball, football and soccer — and sleeping, he added.
Math is his favorite school subject, at the moment, and he said the teachers at Southside work hard at their jobs.
“I think math is way easier than all the other subjects,” he said. “And I like the teachers here. They’ll tutor you and spend extra time when students need it.”
Potter noted that not only did Peele take on the research project she assigned, he persevered and succeeded.
“Moreover, and most importantly, Derontae has exhibited perseverance throughout the entire semester,” she said. “Speaking up in class is not something that comes easily for him, but he doesn’t let this keep him from seeking help when he needs it. He has worked very hard to do well academically in composition, and it has paid off.”
Peele’s perseverance also caught the eye of Southside’s principal, Rick Anderson.
“Derontae is a very quiet young man, but I’m beginning to get to know him and I’m finding out he’s a good kid,” Anderson said. “It just takes a while to get to know him.”
Teen Spotlight is a joint project between Beaufort County Schools and the Washington Daily News. Students profiled are selected by their respective school.
::Jump Sidebar::
All about Derontae Peele …
*Grade and school: freshman, Southside High School.
*Birthday: Oct. 25.
*Favorite book: “Harry Potter.”
*Favorite movie: “Rush Hour 2.”
*Favorite TV show: “I don’t watch much TV.”
*Favorite food: “Chicken, hamburgers and pizza.”
*Favorite entertainer: Lil Wayne.
*Dream vacation: The Bahamas.
*If he could spend one day with anyone in history, it would be: “Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman so I could learn about what they did.”