Academic All-Stars

12th grade: Jerome Davis, Buchanan High School

Jerome Davis, who is an aspiring teacher, sets no limits for himself.
Jerome Davis, who is an aspiring teacher, sets no limits for himself.

Jerome Davis, 18, seems to have no limits.

The senior at Buchanan High School is graduating as one of the school’s valedictorians. And he is preparing to attend University of California in Los Angeles in the fall.

Davis’ mother, Ketti Davis, said she is impressed with her son’s successes, even when faced with what some would perceive as challenges. Davis, who was born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, uses a wheelchair to get around, but those who know him say that has not stopped him.

He is “very positive with all of the situations he tackles,” his mom said.

Davis’ eighth grade and 10th grade teacher, Kendia Herrington, said she’s never noticed anything that has gotten Davis down as a student. “Every single time, he would remind me that he could do anything.”

Herrington said she doesn’t teach Davis this year but sees him occasionally on campus.

This year’s academic load included advanced placement courses in psychology, government and literature, Davis said. He said he’s always loved academics and especially likes “having As.”

In the fall he will study history at UCLA. He plans to minor in creative writing. He’s already written a fiction book, he said, titled “Fresh Start.”

The 314-page book is in the editing process. It took Davis about one year to write the first draft. Herrington said she has read a few pages of it and said “it is so J.D.”

His passion for writing started in the third grade when his teacher read his essay aloud. He enjoyed that other students heard his writing and wants to continue to give people stories to read.

His career goal, he said, is to become a teacher, because “teachers are so important and help shape students” like him.


Age: 18

School: Buchanan High

Home: Clovis

Parents: Ketti and Jerome Davis

Achievements: Davis has a 4.38 GPA and is a member of the Fresno Public Library Teen Council. He is revising his first book and is considered to be someone who pushes others to become stronger academically and personally.

Honorable mention


School: Clovis East High

Parent: Danell E. teNyenhuis

Achievements: teNyenhuis has a long list of community service and athletic achievements. The senior, whose GPA is 4.5, has also earned the Principal’s Honor Roll award and high scores on her advanced placement exams and SATs despite family emergencies.


School: Buchanan High

Parents: Kimberly Ewing

Achievements: Ewing is an “extremely bright” student with a 4.24 GPA who has assisted fellow students with their advanced placement classes throughout high school. At Buchanan, he has served on the math and mock trial teams as well as a science Olympiad team.