Daniel Drata receives One West principal’s award

Susan EspirituOur Town Youth, West Knoxville

Daniel Drata, senior at West High School, received the 2024 One West principal’s award. This annual award is given for different reasons with the key focus being the student overcoming challenges while exhibiting leadership and integrity.

When I was Pond Gap principal, Daniel’s family immigrated to America from Burundi and we were blessed to have Daniel as a student in first grade and on.

Daniel has continued to excel socially, emotionally and academically throughout his school environment as it was mentioned during this ceremony, he is “outgoing in everything he does.”

The achievements amassed during Daniel’s high school career are a tribute to his dedication, integrity, leadership and drive to succeed.

Daniel was elected captain of the soccer team, played on the football team, participated all four years in musical theatre and choir, and was club president of African Student Association at West High School.

Daniel said despite all the accolades, being recognized as a first-generation immigrant stood out to him as the most important recognition.

He said: “This is what drives me to being who I am and doing what I do, because I remember where I came from and what my parents had to go through, so I’m making the most of what they are able to provide for me. I thank God. I am very honored to receive the One West principal’s award.”

Daniel is planning to attend MTSU to study biology/ exercise science to become a physical therapist. We certainly will follow his journey and be grateful for the difference he will make in America.

 All of us have a story and I want to tell yours! Send them to susan@knoxtntoday.com.


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