Letter: Principal proud of Beta Club students

Dear Editor:
Several Wrens Middle School Beta students recently competed at the National Beta Convention in Orlando, Florida, from June 23-26.  The students were invited because they had garnered two first place wins and a fourth place at the Georgia State Beta Convention in Macon in November.  Because of these wins, the students were invited to attend the nationals in Orlando.  This was very exciting for the students, their families, the school, and of course, Jefferson County.
Beta sponsors Michelle Stewart, Krystal Brown, and Tracey Rowland were apprehensively excited about the prospect of going because they had tentatively calculated the costs of taking sixteen students and chaperones to Orlando for close to a week.  Needless to say, when they talked to me about the opportunity, they also expressed concern about the mammoth cost.  I reminded them that we live in Jefferson County, where people are giving and supportive of students in our schools.
With the encouragement of Dr. Howard and the Jefferson County Board of Education, Wrens Middle School went to work towards securing the means of taking sixteen students to Orlando.  Little by little and with the help of many local businesses and individuals, the $15,000 plus goal was satisfied.  
The students represented Jefferson County very well.  Their behavior, their performances, and their appreciation for the opportunity were nothing short of stellar!   The sponsors’ planning was so well executed that there were no glitches in traveling to and staying in Orlando, or returning to Wrens.   I have never witnessed such acute and minute attention to detail as was demonstrated by Mrs. Stewart, Mrs. Brown, and Mrs. Rowland.  Also, the attending parents/chaperones not only parented their children, but they were parents to ALL of the children who attended.  Troy Stewart, Michelle’s husband, was a real trooper as he chauffeured students to and from events in Orlando as well as making sure that they all returned to Wrens and their parents safely… complete with a police escort form Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department as well as the Wrens Police Department.
The students represented Jefferson County well with their performances on the national stage.  Not only did they compete in the oratorical competition and the tower of power, admirably, but they won First Place in the Robotics Division II competition.  Division II competitors were the middle schoolers from throughout the nation.  With the help of Gil Rowland, a geologist and husband of Tracey Rowland and Elton Seton, an engineer from KaMin, the students’ hand built robot, which won a First Place at the state level, went on to win First Place at the national level, as well. I might add that Gil and Elton travelled to Orlando as well as a show of moral support to the students.
I, along with the faculty and staff at Wrens Middle School and the Jefferson County School System, am appreciative, humbled, and eternally grateful for the unselfish giving and support that citizens and businesses in Jefferson County demonstrated in helping us to help our children in this endeavor.  Without your support, we would not have been able to help our children realize this opportunity.
Thank you Jefferson County for your untiring support of our students.  It does take a village, and you are a crucial and intricate member of our village.
Julia Wells 
Wrens Middle School