By Debbie Adams
The William Byrd High School Beta Club inducted 81 new members at a ceremony at the school
on October 2. This was the 63rd year that William Byrd has welcomed new members into the
prestigious honor society. The club was chartered in 1960.
“The main objectives of Beta Club are to set an example for the entire student body and to
promote achievement, character, leadership, and service in our club members,” said new member
Aiden Hundley, one of five student speakers at the induction ceremony. “The ultimate goal,
however, is the preparation of each individual for his or her place in a democratic world. We take
seriously the Beta Club motto ‘Let Us Lead by Serving Others.’”
WBHS Principal Tammy Newcomb noted that the Beta Club “includes seniors who have
obtained a 3.75 GPA from freshman through junior year. Thank you for your hard work,
especially since your freshman year was not an easy one thanks to COVID.
“Many of you are not only superior students, but you are also leaders in our school by
participating in many activities, such as clubs, music programs, and sports. Your hard work does
not go unnoticed.
“Thank you again for making William Byrd the best. I appreciate your leadership and admire
Newcomb explained that the Beta Club also places an emphasis on community involvement and
provides an opportunity for students to obtain a gold cord to wear for graduation through earning
10 hours of community service.
Beta Club inductee Karli Stephenson spoke next. “As we travel through life, there are many doors that must be unlocked. In school we are taught a variety of skills, such as reading and reasoning, which are the keys for many of the doors that lead to success. There are four additional keys needed for a successful future, however. These are not exclusive characteristics of members of the Beta Chapter; anyone may possess them.
“The first key is Achievement. Before we can unlock some of life’s doors, we are asked these
questions: ‘What have you done?’ ‘Have you produced something through honest work?’ ‘Have
you made satisfactory grades in school?’ ‘Have you completed the tasks you have undertaken?’
‘Have you used, to advantage, your inborn abilities?’ If you can answer these questions in the
affirmative, then you possess the Key of Achievement.”
Senior Dexter Gaines talked about the key of Character.
“Character is a very strong key, and it will unlock the most difficult locks. In fact, there are many
doors in life that can be unlocked with this key only, for they resist anyone who attempts to
unlock them without the Key of Character. When this key was forged, many different metals –
dependability, humility, justice, compassion, and most of all, the metal of integrity – were fused
into it. Successful is the person who can possess this key.”
New member Addisyn St. Clair talked about the third key to success – Leadership.
“It is an elusive key and possesses almost magical powers. One seldom possesses it unless he/she
also owns the Keys of Achievement and Character. It wields great influence and unlocks doors
that lead all of us, in some degree, to influence our neighbors. It is deceptive, because sometimes
we may hold it in our hands and be unaware that we have it. For those who discover their
ownership of it, it can be used in locks devised by the most clever of locksmiths; however, it
must be used skillfully and wisely and for the good of humanity, or it will disappear from the
hand that holds it.”
Student Lance Freedle talked about the fourth key – the Key of Service.
“It is a master key. It will unlock all the doors that open the heart of humankind. And although it
can be used so often and so well, it is not difficult to own. It is used daily by a vast number of
men and women, boys and girls. Whenever any help is rendered, whether great or small, this key
is employed. It has a surprising quality; the more it is used and the older and more worn it
becomes, the more efficient it is, unlocking more and more doors. You cannot wear it out,
because even after the user has laid it down, the effectiveness of it remains.
“On behalf of all the new members, I accept these keys. We promise to guard them well, use
them wisely, and to pass them on to future members of this Beta Chapter.”
At that point in the ceremony Beta Club candidates were called to the front to receive their
certificates from Beta Club sponsors Carla Hatfield and Suzanne Spruell.
The Beta Club inductees for 2023-24 are: Benjamin Abbott, Emmerson Abshire, Sarah Addo, Erin Adkins, Olaedo Anyanwu, Wyatte Bailey, Ashley Begasse, Lillian Betterton, Jaslyn Bibby, Caitlin Bishop, Natalie Blevins, Sydney Blewett, Alexandra Bonilla, Eva Brown, Terran Brown, Ian Burnett, Cindel Camper, Nathan Carter, Hernan Cataneo-Luna, Zachary Claybrook, Emily Cook, Madelyn Davis, Elizabeth Dixon, Mandolin Draper, Dominic Dulak, Carter Dullaghan, Landon Dyess, Phoenix Eanes, Kadence Fernatt, Samantha Flippen, Noah Franks, Lance Freedle, Dexter Gaines, Elliott Gaines, David Gaspar-Cabrera, Savannah Gibson, Claire Glover, Israel Hairston, Joshua Hardy, Jack Hinkle, Donald Hodges, Aiden Hundley, Makenna Jacobsen, Zachary James, Emma Kageals, Alexis Labarbera, Thaddeus Lilley, Christian Lovern, Katelyn Lucas, Shiloh Markwith, Payton Martin, Gracie Mick, Emma Miller, Sean Minnix, Abigail Moats, Madison Montgomery, Tyler Morrison, Jenny Nguyen, Tracy Nguyen, Kallie Niday, Nicole Posadas, Lane Shoemaker, Emily Sowers, Keller Spraker, Addisyn St. Clair, Samantha Start, Finley Stephens, Karli Stephenson, Johnathan Teague, Kayli Thompson, Noah Thompson, Kenny Trang, Emily Tuck, Madelyn Ward, Alexis Ware, Meghan White, Brenin Witcher, Ashley Woods, Grayson Workman, Griffin Yakob, and Elizabeth Young.
The ceremony concluded with the repetition of the Beta Pledge by the students: “I do solemnly declare that I shall always strive to hold fast to the principles of honesty, to maintain an admirable reputation, and to develop a foundation of character, service, and leadership in my life. I also pledge to promote an individual responsibility to improve my school, community, state, and nation.”