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Homecoming king yields crown

At James Clemens Homecoming, John Jenkins has announced as Homecoming King, but John but relinquished his crown to classmate Devin Lever. Contributed/Katelyn Jenkins
At James Clemens Homecoming, John Jenkins has announced as Homecoming King, but John but relinquished his crown to classmate Devin Lever. Contributed/Katelyn Jenkins
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MADISON – High school homecoming is known for intense school spirit and heightened attention to one’s appearance for parties and the dance.
However, one James Clemens senior sacrificed an honor to share the Jets’ true spirit.
In the weeks leading to homecoming, many James Clemens students rallied to endorse senior Devin Lever for Homecoming King. “Everyone knows Devin. He is the most full-of-life kid that you’ll ever met,” Jets parent Kimberly Taylor said.
“Devin uses his God-given talent to bring out the best in other people,” Taylor said. “Devin has shown everyone with his disability that everyone is ‘differently abled’ in different ways.”
When Devin walks into a classroom, his exuberance and enthusiasm cause the other students to be in a good mood. “Devin exemplifies the best that James Clemens has to offer, and students thought he should be Homecoming King,” Taylor said.
John Jenkins, a Jets football player, supported the campaign for Devin. However, John was voted as King to accompany Homecoming Queen Elisia Alampi.
“John won but he wanted Devin to have the honor,” Taylor said. Almost immediately after John was crowned king, he called Devin on the field, removed the crown from his head and crowned Devin as king.
John’s gesture wasn’t announced on the public address system, so few people knew what happened. “This story had to be told,” Taylor said.
“Devin has changed the lives of James Clemens cheerleaders and football players. Devin wants to lift up other people and has the other person in mind, not himself,” Taylor said.
Devin has enrolled in JROTC as an elective class and handles work assignments like other cadets, even the daily announcements for news, weather and sports. He takes several general education classes.
Thanks to Devin, students now look at others with a disability in a totally different way. “It doesn’t matter if you’re in band, math club or the football team, everyone rallies around Devin,” Taylor said. “When it comes to Devin, there are no cliques.”
John’s parents are Jimmy and Mary Jenkins. Devin’s parents are Sara and Charlie Lever.

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