While earning an accumulated GPA of 4.0, Cameron Smith, the North Summit High School student body president, also competed in football, basketball, and through the help of track-and-field coach Yance Fawcett, did some heavy lifting – physically and mentally.
"I've been able to watch Cameron compete in and outside of the classroom," Fawcett, a math teacher at NSHS said. "The biggest change I have seen develop in Cameron these past years is his confidence. He never struggled as a student, mostly because he did what students are supposed to. The system is designed for students to succeed and Cameron is a perfect example of this type of student. Day in and day out, throughout his high school career he worked hard, and it shows."
Smith, a graduating senior at the school has plans to follow in the footsteps of his role model and father, Gary Smith, a physical therapist.
The younger Smith has become a role model in his own right. When walking the halls at the high school, students with hopes of following Smith's footsteps have covered the walls with campaign posters to become the next student body president.
"Out of all the years I have spent here (at North Summit High School), I will never forget my time as student body president," Smith said. "I really enjoyed getting involved in all of the activities I helped organize and all of the friends I was able to make. Whoever earns my position will have a great experience."
On May 24, after four years of hard work, Smith will not only be leading by example, but he will be leading the other 67 seniors expected to graduate during this year's graduation ceremony. The 17 year old was named the school's valedictorian because of excellence displayed in academic and extracurricular activities, according to NSHS counselor Yance Pace.
"I don't think I would have earned this honor without the help of the teachers and administration at North Summit. They really helped me become the person I am today," Smith said. "I am honored I was selected to fill this role during graduation."
The hardest subject for the valedictorian to complete was this year's calculus class taught by Fawcett.
"Mr. Fawcett is one of those teachers I will never forget," Smith said. "I push myself a lot when it comes to school, but the extra push from (Fawcett) was exactly what I needed to be the best student I could be. He doesn't take anything but the best from students and I think that's what students like me need to succeed."
According to Fawcett, last year when Smith was first introduced to his math course, the student wasn't meeting his own expectations. Through coaching in the classroom, rather than the running track, Fawcett helped Smith complete six credit hours of math courses in one semester to reach his goal.
"I don't know if any of my guidance was the cause of Cameron's success, but I think he surprised himself; not his teachers," Fawcett said. "When students apply themselves and see they can perform at a high level, the sky is the limit. Look at him now, he is valedictorian."
Smith plans on studying physical therapy at either the Southern University of Utah or Utah State, but the young student has deferred his college enrollment to serve a mission with his church. In the next month, he will receive his mission call, deciding where he will spend the next two years.
"This extra time will give me the opportunity to think about my career path and the future," Smith said. "Through my experience in high school I have learned the values of being friendly and personable with everybody I meet. I am getting excited to use these skills in my upcoming mission."