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A plan for positivity: This senior is sharing the love

Student Leader: Symone Gray

Wyoming — Symone Gray loves to spread positivity throughout Wyoming High School, on the color guard, the tennis court and in her work in leadership at a county level.

“I just really like spending time at my school, I suppose. I like to give back to the community and do things because it keeps me involved; it keeps me out there and helps me meet more people,” said Symone, a senior known for her skillfulness as organizer of blood drives and volunteer at athletic events as president of Key Club.

As captain of the color guard, she focused on creating a high-energy environment — like the music and marching band performance itself.

“I think that people find me someone easy to talk to and relate to in certain circumstances,” said Symone, who plays tenor saxophone during concert season. “I wouldn’t say I am the most skilled person, but I’m good at keeping people energized and bringing a positive vibe when I can.”

Symone is a planner, good at handing out tasks and orchestrating activities. Through Key Club, she also volunteers at Family Network of Wyoming. She also can be found on the tennis court for the high school team and working at Old Navy.

“I do like to make plans and I’m more outspoken, so it’s easy for me to communicate with adults,” she said. 

“She is friendly with everybody,” said senior Jules Vega, a good friend. “I met all my friends through her. … It’s just her attitude; it is uplifting being around her at all times.”

‘I’m good at keeping people energized and bringing a positive vibe when I can.’

— senior Symone Gray

Growing in Leadership

Symone also lends her organizational skills to WHS’s AW 11 Leadership class, helping plan the semester’s Alpha Wolf 11 celebration, in which two students in each grade are awarded based on student votes for demonstrating kindness, compassion and graciousness. 

She received the award her sophomore year, an honor she found overwhelming due to self-doubt and low self-esteem at the time. She said she has since learned to appreciate what others saw in her.

“I think I’ve really improved on my role as a person and my influence and self perception. My self-esteem has greatly shifted from where I was sophomore year until now.”

Teacher John Doyle taught Symone in U.S. History and Rising Educators, a class that exposes students to the teaching profession. 

Senior Symone Gray loves impacting her school through positivity, serving others

“Symone has demonstrated standards of achievement, rigor, preparation, leadership and responsibility while being an active, well-balanced student,” he said. “She is an inspiring role model to her peers, demonstrating motivation, preparation, communication, courageousness, creative thinking, and persistence.”

Symone is also on the Kent ISD Student Leadership Community, a forum for which two students from each of Kent ISD’s 20 districts provide input to education leaders and participate in leadership development, advocacy, community service, event participation and networking. Last March, she served on a Student Perspective Panel for the Kent Intermediate Association of School Boards. 

“It is giving input on things from my perspective and how I see that our school articulates it, and sharing it and comparing it to other schools in our county,” Symone said. 

“I learned that with our school — though we have things we probably need to work on — we have a lot of other things that we are good at that count — like diversity and inclusion.”

She’s also involved in a mentoring program, AW 11 Friends, spending time with Wyoming elementary school students on academics and joining them for recess. She knows it’s a great experience as she looks forward to being a teacher. 

She hopes to attend Michigan State University next fall to pursue her degree in secondary education to become a history and government teacher.

“I really enjoy the idea that I can help shape someone’s future for the positive. I know I’ve had a lot of teachers in my life that have helped guide me to where I am and helped encourage me to be a better person. Without them in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

Read more from Wyoming: 
Suited up & ready for business
Fourth-graders use their voice to lift up peers

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is managing editor and reporter, covering Kentwood, Lowell and Wyoming. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013, and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio


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