This is exactly how I wanted the headline to read after leaving the Tennessee Junior Beta Convention in Nashville, Tenn., November 22 and 23. Bailey T. Hayes is a winner. The President of the Junior Beta Club was the first-ever candidate from DeKalb West School to run for state office. Hayes, the son of Alan and Lesa Hayes of Liberty, was one of three candidates vying for Secretary. He and his campaign skit participants gave an outstanding effort to earn the post, but when the winner was announced on Tuesday afternoon, it wasn't Bailey's name that was read.
Despite what the final vote tally determined, there is no doubt in my mind that Bailey T. Hayes is still the winner. How could he not be? Bailey T. Hayes is a winner because he did something no one else at DWS had ever done. He tried. For weeks, he practiced and practiced his campaign speech, giving 110% effort. Bailey T. Hayes is a winner because he faced the fear--public speaking-- that even adults rank as number one above death. He stood in front of 7,000 of his peers at the Opryland Hotel and delivered a confident, no flaws speech. Bailey T. Hayes is a winner because he pulled out an impromptu question from a bag in front of a crowd of thousands and gave an answer straight from his heart that any parent would be proud to hear. Bailey T. Hayes is a winner because he gracefully accepted defeat with his chin held high regardless of how disappointed he might have been in the moment. Bailey T. Hayes is a winner because he is the kind of remarkable student and child that I am thrilled to have witnessed take on a challenge and from start to finish give it a Grade A commitment. Bailey T. Hayes is a winner because he has two parents who gave sacrificially in this campaign to help see their son be the best he can be, just the way they've always performed for him since his birth. His campaign theme was "Stand For Something (or you'll fall for anything)." Service to others, Trustworthy, Appreciative, Never Say Never Attitude, and Dedication/Determination are just a few of the character traits this young Christian man demonstrates continuously. It's little wonder that Bailey T. Hayes has turned out to be a winner. Congratulations!
A DeKalb West School 8th grader recently won the Jr. Beta Club's M.V.P. trophy during the Tennessee Junior Beta Convention in Nashville.
Lydia Trail, the daughter of Heidi Trail, was one of two students picked in Tennessee and one of 25 across the nation selected for the prestigious John W. Harris service and leadership honor. Jr. Beta Club sponsor Bill Conger nominated Trail for the awarded and wrote an essay about her character traits that was sent to the National Junior Beta Club office. National Junior Beta Club sponsor Judy Cummings presented Trail with the award on stage at the recent event. Trail has helped with service to her school and community in a variety of ways. She has assisted numerous times to organize and distribute food to the needy at the Second Harvest Food Mobile at Smithville First Methodist Church, has helped spruce up around the school with landscaping and litter pick-up, and has helped make cards of thanks to the military and local community leaders. The local Beta club's secretary has served in leadership roles with 4-H, maintained high academic standing, and currently plays on the Lady Bulldog basketball team.
"Likewise, I want to congratulate the 22 other students who participated in a variety of academic, arts and crafts, and political leadership activities," Conger said. "At D.W.S., we required that students obtain an average of 92 or above among all their core academic subjects the first 9 weeks, give at least five hours of service work to the school and community, and demonstrate good character in their behavior at school. Several of our students juggled the time needed to commit to their studies along with numerous outside activities like basketball, cheerleading, and church along with the service work and the time to practice and prepare for events at the competition. They worked hard. I am proud of them all." Two students, Kenzie Morris and Hailey Walker, demonstrated the show-must-go-on spirit when they set aside their personal sickness at the convention and performed in the political campaign skit the first night of the convention. They were joined in the event by Teddy Tippin, James Sherwood, William Cain, Brooke Martin, Bruce Wilson, Alex Foutch, Bailey Redmon, Rosa Payne, and Cason Oakley. Singer/Songwriter Thea Tippin and Dancer Extraordinaire Chelsie Young helped with the music and choreography for the campaign skit. Caitlyn Lawrence, Payne and Redmon read twelve books in preparation for the Battle of the Books contest. Alexis Nokes, Lydia Trail, Taylor Ellis, Brooke Martin, Leah Burchfield, and Mary Belle Mofield made a special banner that fit the convention theme, "Beta: A Volunteer State of Mind." Sonya Edge coordinated that category for D.W.S. Cason Oakley, Leah Burchfield, Taylor Ellis, and Nate Sherwood decked out as chimney sweeps to recreate a scene from "Mary Poppins" in the Living Literature event. Lisa Oakley coordinated the event while Alexandria Mayor Ria Baker was instrumental in helping with the costumes and set design. John Cain oversaw the Tower of Power event with a team of D.W.S. students--Alex Foutch, Ashley Grater, William Cain, Teddy Tippin, and James Sherwood. Entering individual contests were Maegan Harris, Poetry; Kirkland Smallwood, Spelling; Bruce Wilson, Math; Charlie Young, Social Studies; Kenzie Morris, Arts and Crafts-Handmade jewelry; Anna Bess Malone, Arts and Crafts, Black and White Photography; Bailey Redmon, Arts and Crafts-Color Photography; Lydia Trail, Arts and Crafts, Sketching (Pen and pencil).
Lastly, although Kelsey Hedge is not a member of the DWS chapter of the Junior Beta Club, she is one of our own students in the county that we should praise. As a member of the D.M.S. Junior Beta Club, she ran a very commendable campaign for Chaplain at the state convention. She is the daughter of David and Trina Hedge and the granddaughter of one of my childhood heroes, the late Amos Hedge and his wife, Frances.