Faculty Prize Winner: Devon Pasieka
How do you go about describing Devon Pasieka? For one, she is a tour de force. She is a Civic Responsibility and Ethical Leadership Scholar and served as Student Government President, leading through a pandemic and spearheading the development of subcommittees that will have a lasting impact on the School. She is passionate about the arts—singing, dancing, and acting her way through Hun all four years and landing a top role in the musical her freshman year. She is an Honor Council member, peer leader, Red Shield Society tour guide, founder and co-captain of the cheer team, founder of Study Engine, an online tutoring service for elementary-aged students….and the list goes on, and on.
Confident, yet approachable, Devon wants underclassmen to do one thing: “dive headfirst into everything.” She took that very advice when she came to Hun as a freshman. “Hun offers so many great things and it’s not the easiest thing to do (jumping in and trying new things), but don’t worry because you’ll find you’re really good at something.”
Devon is really good at many things, but she will likely be remembered most for her leadership abilities and public speaking skills. “She truly embraces the values of Hun, civic engagement, and responsibility,” says Lynn McNulty, faculty member, history and global studies department. “She is a strong community leader because she has many qualities of leadership: she listens, she delegates, and she empowers others.”
Devon came to Hun thinking she wanted to go into medicine, but then pivoted after taking Mr. Shaffner’s public speaking course. “It was life changing,” she says with her trademark positivity. In addition to polishing her skills, Devon gave a TED-style talk, one that she has been asked many times since to give to schools. “Devon is clearly an all-star,” says Ted Shaffner. “She came in confident and skilled, and I thought she was ready for a nudge further along…she turned out one of the best speeches I have ever had in class.”
She left that class knowing one thing: “I need to be a changemaker.” She has worked toward that goal with a single-minded focus, whether she’s leading the charge at Hun or serving as a young innovator at the Zuckerberg Institute. Next year, she will attend Georgetown University on an international business track.
“Devon is the student that teachers love. She is a take-charge person,” says faculty member Ronalee Newman. “At times, I felt like I was talking to a colleague—forgetting that Devon was, and still, is a student.”
That is not the first time her maturity has been noticed. “Dr. Fabian tells me that I am the youngest member of the faculty,” Devon laughs.