Born and raised in Kansas, Devin graduated from White Rock High School in 1991, attending Kansas State University attaining a Bachelor's of Science degree in Agriculture, specializing in Agronomy, with a secondary degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES). Devin was born in Belleville, Kansas and grew up on a family farm north of Mankato. His parents and one of his younger sisters still live in Jewell County. Devin's father and grandfather both attended a one-room country schoolhouse until eighth grade. Devin carried a brick from this schoolhouse 60 miles in his first walk to Topeka with Game On for Kansas Schools. Pictured is Steuben School District Number 5 located in northern Jewell County.
The Great Recession had ended for several years, yet the temporary belt-tightening seemed permanent, and policy-makers seemed to have forgotten about supporting Kansas Public Schools. Class sizes were swelling. Devin's family was shocked upon enrolling their oldest in kindergarten, but with a talented teacher, it was a positive experience. Three years later, their youngest was enrolled in a kindergarten class size of 26! That seemed excessive. Devin started asking questions, and reached out to the principal who stated that the elementary school and the school district had reallocated resources to keep class sizes as low as possible, but there was only so much that they could do. He encouraged Devin to talk to his elected officials in Topeka as they hold the purse strings. Devin met with his House representative at the time, but learned later that this representative didn't support adequate school funding. Devin noticed network coverage of Game On for Kansas Schools' walk to Topeka to raise awareness of the importance of adequately supporting Kansas Public Schools. Devin joined his local PTA as legislative chair, and Game On for Kansas Schools to learn more.
Work with Game On for Kansas Schools and PTA blossomed into providing testimony in education committees in the Statehouse, and joining several PTAs as legislative chair, from Mill Creek Elementary, Trailridge Middle School, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Shawnee Mission Area Council PTA, and Kansas State PTA. Public speaking was something Devin ran from, but the fear took a back seat to fighting for Kansas school children.