PIEDMONT—Wren High School freshman Kate Brady took home top honors at the National Beta Convention in Greensboro, N.C.
Brady won the Oratory Competition placing first in the senior division, and competing against 24 other high school students from across the nation.
Prior to winning the national competition, Brady competed in the Oratory Competition at the state level in February and placed first, qualifying her to compete at the national convention held June 27-30.
“It was very exciting,” said Brady. “I’ve always loved Beta Club. I started in seventh grade at Wren Middle, and I’ve been to the national competition every year since. This was my first time going to the senior competition. It was just really neat to be in that environment.”
Wren English Teacher Karen Key says she could not be more proud of her student.
“To place first at the national level as a rising sophomore is a significant accomplishment,” said Key. “Kate is an amazing young person with strong leadership potential. We look forward to the contributions she will undoubtedly make to Wren’s Beta Club and student body. I feel sure that Betas across the state will know the name Kate Brady.”
Wren High Principal Robbie Binnicker echoed Key’s thoughts.
“We are very proud of this tremendous accomplishment from Kate,” said Binnicker. “To be recognized as the national winner in the Beta Oratory Competition is remarkable - especially considering that Kate is only a rising sophomore. She is such a talented young lady in so many areas and I know we have many years of additional accomplishments to come.”
Brady says she formulated her winning speech around the theme of the convention, which was “Start Your Engine.”
“My family and I have gone to all 46 counties in South Carolina over the past couple of years, so our trip really seemed to fit with the theme,” said Brady. “My speech was about how God taught me that we can serve people, and it gives us hope when we serve others. It was a challenge for other Beta club members to start their engine, get moving, take action, and serve people.”
Brady says representing her school made the competition even more satisfying.
“It’s such a blessing to represent Wren High School,” said Brady. “I love my school, and it’s the best in South Carolina. It was just really cool to be able to go and represent Wren on a national level. It just makes you even more proud of your school.”
Wren’s Quiz Bowl also received an invitation to compete at Nationals, but did not place in their competition. The team consisted of seniors Ryan Barker, Jared Tolbert, and Matt Trowbridge, and sophomore Jamie Hintson, team captain.
The National Beta Club is the nation’s largest independent, non-profit, educational youth organization. Their goal is to recognize and promote high academic achievement, reward and nurture worthy character, foster leadership skills and encourage service to others. The National Beta Club has worked with over six million young people in grades 5-9 (Junior Beta Club) and grades 9-12 (Senior Beta Club). There are now more than 420,000 active members and more than 8,000 clubs nationally and internationally.
Wren High has a 9th/10th grade Beta Club and an 11th/12th grade Beta Club. The Beta Club is open to students who maintain a GPA of 3.8 and meet the standards for membership which include good character, leadership, service, and attendance. Members participate in a variety of service projects throughout the year. Faculty Sponsors are Mrs. Julie Bolton and Mrs. Karen Key, teachers at Wren High.