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Student Spotlight: Daniel Island's James Thompson wants everyone to have a voice

Published Monday, June 4, 2018

James Thompson paused briefly several times to clear moisture from his eyes. What was witnessed by those in the room for his Student Spotlight interview was not a bout with seasonal allergies. It was a reflection of the passion he feels for his school, the commitment he made as the student body president and his desire to “make sure everyone has a voice.”

The ways of the Lowcountry are new to James, as he and his family moved around a bit before finding themselves in the Daniel Island area. As an 8th-grader at Daniel Island School this year, he became fascinated with South Carolina history. He’s taken lessons from the class of Mr. Jonathan Griffith, combined that knowledge of what he’s learned from living in other areas of the country and has dedicated himself to making sure unheard opinions find an audience.

As the student body president this year, he organized a forum for students to share how their experience at DIS could be improved. Most of the shared ideas centered on social activities at the school like movie nights, and James believes those social opportunities cannot be overlooked.

James is wise beyond his 13 years of life. He’s a firm believer that part of the learning process is experiencing new things and getting to know what’s important to other people. At the center of students his age are schools.

“School has been like a second home to me. I spend most of my day here,” he said.

He leads with his heart, excels academically and is willing to put in the hard work to be successful. He possesses character traits that have teachers and administrators at the school excited about his future.

“He showed us just a small inkling of his leadership abilities this year as our student council president,” DIS Principal Kori Brown said. “I know we will see James do great things in the future.”

As far as the future goes, if he could change one thing in tomorrow’s world, James said it would be for everyone to have access to the basics needed for survival.

“I would try to make it so that everyone had enough to live and enough ways to be heard,” he said.

While he knows he likely won’t be able to help everyone, he wants to have an impact in the future as an attorney.

“Not necessarily (as one who) works only for the money, but an Atticus Finch type of lawyer who helps everyone he can, because he feels it’s the right way to go about things,” he said. “…I think everyone deserves to be helped.”


Brian Troutman