Jerome Smalls is an outstanding student, currently one of the top ten in his class, and is a true asset to West Ashley High School. He has wisdom well beyond his years that he uses to lead his classmates on many new adventures. Besides being an A+ student, Jerome is on the Varsity football team, a member of The Drama Studio, this year’s Homecoming King, President of Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), a manager of The Cat Shack (school store), the “Voice” of West Ashley, and many other things.
“It’s a pleasure to interact and work with Jerome on any and all projects that he decides to tackle,” says Donald Newton, public relations coordinator at WAHS. Under Smalls leadership, DECA’s 52 members have come up with a once a month event called Professional Dress Day where students are encouraged to dress in professional dress as they would for a job interview. The students were advised against shorts, leggings, and t-shirts and instead encouraged to wear a suit and tie, a pants suit, etc.
“You should have seen the number of students and teachers alike that were dressed up last week,” says Newton. “It was amazing and it was all due to one student’s leadership – one student’s ability to take a teacher’s idea and run with it.” Professional Dress Day is now scheduled once a month until the end of the year.
Smalls, who will attend the University of Pennsylvania next year, is a true leader, whether it be on the football field, on the stage as a shining example for other students to follow, or in the classroom among his fellow classmates. Each morning Smalls leads the school in saying the Pledge of Allegiance, moment of silence, and reads the announcements, making him the “Voice” of West Ashley.
Along with all of this Smalls has also been the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year for South Carolina, and was a DECA ICDC (International Career Development Conference) Finalist as well. Smalls is also the manager of WAHS’s school store, The Cat Shack, which he does as part of the Work-Based Learning Program that many WAHS students are a part of. Through this program, Smalls is able to get hands-on exposure to managing a store, or a business, and what all goes into that process.
“Jerome has been primarily responsible for changing the food and beverage items we offer in The Cat Shack to meet the new ‘Smart Snack’ Federal guidelines,” says marketing teacher Terry Stutts. “He’s also responsible for doing employee reviews at the end of each of our cycles. He has also been instrumental in us getting our ‘Paw Prints’ brand up and running.” The Paw Prints brand consist of custom t-shirts for 10 different groups on campus.
“Even if Smalls wasn’t involved in all these different activities, he would still stand out because of his incredible attitude and personality,” says Newton. “You will never meet a more kind, considerate, sincere person on the face of the earth. He will do anything that you ask, with a big smile on his face.”
As sponsors of the West Of Student of the Month, Paisano’s PIzza Grill will provide the student with a T-shirt and a gift certificate to the restaurant, located at  1789 Ashley River Road.

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