By Debbie Adams
William Byrd High School inducted 64 seniors into the Beta Club honor society on October 18.
Beta Club is a national organization which promotes achievement, character, leadership, and service. Students are invited to join at the beginning of their senior year based on their GPA at the end of their junior year, which must be at least a 3.75.
Students who accept membership are sworn in at the induction ceremony and agree to perform 10 hours or more of community service in the school or community.
WBHS Principal Tammy Newcomb described the new Beta Club members as “the top academic students in the Class of 2022.” She commented that their path in high school had not been easy due to the pandemic. “Things just stopped when you were sophomores; you spent last year as juniors mostly online taking challenging AP and dual enrollment courses—not an easy task.”
She noted that one goal of the Beta Club is to influence students to become community-minded, to help them get an idea of what it means to be civic-minded, no matter where they live once they leave William Byrd. Newcomb also encouraged the new Beta Club members to join the service-oriented Leo Club, sponsored by the Vinton Breakfast Lions Club.
Four new members led the induction ceremony—Hannah Sutton, Emilie McCaskill, Timber Raines, and Carlee Hutchins.
“This is the 61st year William Byrd has inducted members into the Beta Club,” said Sutton. “The club was chartered here in 1960, so it has a long history in our school. The main objectives of the Beta Club are promotion of achievement, character, leadership, and service in our club members, and to set an example for the entire student body. The ultimate goal 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.’”
She introduced the other speakers who described the four keys to a successful future, which anyone, not just Beta Club members, can possess.
“The first key is achievement,” said McCaskill. “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 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.
“The second key is character,” McCaskill said. “It is a very strong key and 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.”
“The third key to success is leadership,” said Raines. “It is an elusive key and possesses almost magical powers. One seldom possesses it unless he or 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.”
“The fourth key is service,” said Hutchens. “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.”
New members then were called individually by Newcomb to accept their certificates of Beta Club membership and form a line onstage to take the Beta Pledge: “I do solemnly swear 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.”
Beta Club members inducted for 2021-2022 are: Alexa Aquino, Tyler Begasse, Isabel Burnett, Gentry Carle, John Cooley, Emma Copening, Emma Dalton, Haley Day, Ross Divers, Thomas Dulak, Bronwyn Fenimore, Remington FiGart, Haley Firebaugh, Riley Firebaugh, Jade Fleitz, Emiliano Gonzalez, Ethan Hairston, Wills Halliwill, Catherine Harless, Chloe Harrilla, Kaiya Hoagland, Keely Hoal, Sean Hoey, Griffin Horacek, Matthew Hoyos, Jocelyn Hunter, Carlee Hutchens, Micah Kiker, Brysen Lish, Devin Liu, Nicholas Long, Jaiden Lorton, Victoria Lovern, Amaris Markham, Jayson Marvin, Emilie McCaskill, Madeline Miller, Robert Miller, Hunter Muddiman, Wesley Nance, Steven Nguyen, Jenna Nicely, Landan Niday, Austin Nielsen, Timber Raines, Joshua Roop, Jaylen Rosser, Mya Rosser, Trevor Ruble, Daniel Sarver, Grace Saunders, Trenton Sayers, Natalie Schneider, Samantha Shrader, Kamryn Sigafoes, Hunter Sipe, Cole Spencer, Ashlyn Stover, Hannah Sutton, Charles Trogdon, Madison Tuck, Victoria Watts, Cadence Wilkerson, and Kassidy Wrye.
Suzanne Spruell, Carla Hatfield, and Brian Butler are the faculty sponsors of the Beta Club at WBHS.
The National Beta Club was founded in 1934 by Dr. John W. Harris, who chose the name “Beta” which is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. “B” represents “bios,” the Greek word for life. He felt it was important for members to learn how to make a life for themselves.