About the Seniors: Paxton DeVault


Paxton DeVault, Reporter

Photography has always been my driving passion. Ever since I was little, I would always ask to take pictures of the things around me on my grandma’s digital Canon camera. She loved capturing every little moment. My grandpa is the one who first introduced me to cameras at the age of 10. He would take his Canon hunting and camping and just get the most amazing photos. He showed me the quick ways around the camera. That is when I knew I was just in love with being able to freeze the most beautiful moments and things around us. I know I have an eye for beauty.

When I was 13, my godmother gifted me my very first camera, a Kodak digital camera. I began learning more about angles and lighting while taking pictures. Just a few years later, I was given a Canon Rebel T6, which is my absolute favorite! I continued to extend my knowledge on learning the ways of the camera. My grandpa also handed down a Asahi Pentax 1000k, which was designed in 1976. I am still learning how to use film, but I love it!

Once high school came, I knew I wanted to be a part of the yearbook and other classes to help my photography and writing skills. Throughout my years at Thomas Jefferson, I have been a part of Yearbook, Photography, Digital Imaging, and Newspaper. This 2020-2021 school year, I have been rewarded with being Editor-in-Chief along with Chrisha Doss. 

Since my sophomore year, I have taken photos of our school events, such as pep rallies, Friday night football games, volleyball games, and much more! On October 9, 2018, I was invited by Mr. Lindquist to attend a Trump Rally at the MidAmerican Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa as an official member of the press. It was the best thing I have ever done! I was proud of myself to have been picked to attend the rally, and even more proud to have won three awards for the photos that I captured of Trump. I won 1st place in the IHSPA contest on the “I Can’t Hear You” photo of Trump. I also won 2nd place and Honorable Mention with the Youth Journalism of Iowa contest for another photo.

Since then, I have attended many press conferences and rallies. On July 17, 2019, I appeared at the Joe Biden Presidential Rally at the Grass Wagon in Council Bluffs, Iowa. On November 8, 2019, I attended the Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Presidential Rally at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa. On November 25, 2019, I went to the Pete Buttigieg Presidential Rally at Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and on December 29, 2019, I went to Woodrow Wilson Middle Middle School for a Presidential Rally for Elizabeth Warren. 

I have written many stories in Newspaper, such as a three part series of “The Life as a Quarantines Student”, stories about the homecoming dance at school, a personal story written about our 2020-2021 yearbook which happens to be a coloring book, and my absolute favorite story was “Remembering Audrey Pearey”. Audrey was a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School. She has a brain aneurysm and suddenly passed away. I took it into my own hands to honor Audrey and make sure everyone in the school remembered her.

Exiting my senior year of high school, I have learned so many things. One of the biggest lessons is that deadlines are very important! Everything has a deadline and it is very imperative to keep on top of it and make sure the project is done well and on time. I also learned that this time of your life is nothing to mess around with. Leaving high school and entering your freshman year of college is my first major step into adulthood. This is your time to lay the foundation for your future, to tap into your potential and strive for the career you have dreamed of!