Student Spotlight: Ryan Smith
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The heat from the beating sun berates his vision and his hands are shaking. He watches the crowds’ faces intently, brows knit together in ultimate concentration. After the last note, the final forte, an uproar of delighted screams and applause fill Disneyland’s plaza. He stands tall, swelling in pride with a big grin– he’s grateful to be apart of 2016’s Rose Bowl Parade.
“I think I’ve influenced Palo in a positive light these four years,” says Ryan Smith, senior, “I’m motivated by success.”
Born in Davenport, Iowa, seventeen year old Ryan has brought four years of encouragement, positivity and leadership to Palo Verde. He not only excels academically, but he never fails to raise the bar for his peers. He’s been a student of Palo Verde’s International Baccalaureate program (IB) for two years and is on top of his class. He’s an active member in International Club, National Honor Society, National Science Society and plays for Palo’s Varsity Quiz.
“I’m only trying to get a stable financial future,” he says, modest about his achievements, “I want to study Biochemistry and become a pathologist, that’s been my dream.”
He intends to attend Vanderbilt University, his dream college. Vanderbilt is a prestigious college with a 10% acceptance rate, and he has already been invited to attend for his musical talents.
If his coursework and after school activities weren’t enough to catch the limelight, Ryan is one of the school’s top players on euphonium. He’s participated and carried Palo Verde Panther Pride Marching band to victory and riffs amazing solos for Palo’s top ensemble.
He’s been a part of Nevada’s Honor Band for three years, All State Band and National Honor Band for one.
“I know it’s a lot, but I also want to study in music, too. I’ve always had a drive for it,” Ryan admits, “I want to play in a professional music group on the side.”
The auditions for all three groups are rigorous, only accepting a select few. Traditionally, the National Honor Band is blessed to play in the Rose Parade, hosted annually in Pasadena, California.
After school, he also plays basketball for The Latter-Day Church and has been on Palo’s men’s volleyball team for three years.
“Personally,” sophomore Justin StaMaria says, “I think Ryan is one of the best people out there. It’s hard to play music so well, be accepted into groups that are so diligent, and have a positive attitude on life.”
He will be the first IB graduating class for Palo. His classmates and his peers admire his strong willpower.