DeKalb West School 8th grader Hailey Perry is one of only 25 students across the nation and 4 in Tennessee to be chosen for the John W. Harris Leadership Award. The National Beta Club recognizes deserving students in Junior and Senior Beta Clubs throughout the country who have served as “an inspiration to all and serve as a motivation to improve the school and community.”
Hailey, the daughter of Todd and Teresa Perry of Dowelltown, is this school year’s President of the D.W.S. Junior Beta Club. Guidance Counselor Bill Conger nominated Perry for the award for her drive, determination, and desire to go the extra mile in serving others. She was presented the award during the DeKalb West School’s 8th grade graduation May 16.
“I have always been really impressed by Hailey’s willingness to be involved in service projects at school,” Conger said. “One example that stands out is the choice she made last year to not only play in the ballgame that night but also to help clean up the school grounds before the opening tip-off. She had a reasonable excuse not to show up because of the other obligation, but she made it happen anyway.”
“I have always been taught to do well and do my best,” Perry said. “I feel better,” Hailey adds about her involvement with service projects in the school and community. It makes me feel more grown-up because I know that I’ve done something to build on my life.”
A student in Carol Hale’s classroom, she has demonstrated her leadership abilities all through her middle school years at DWS as a team player with the Bulldogs basketball team and as 4-H President in her 5th-8th grade years. She is also an active member at her home church, the Longbranch Community Church in Lancaster.
“I think there needs to be clubs like this [Junior Beta] because kids, especially with parents who don’t really care, don’t learn responsibility and values like you would if you were participating,” Hailey said. “I think that if kids got out and did more stuff, they would change and they wouldn’t follow in their parent’s footsteps.”
She leaves her position as Beta Club president with this piece of advice about serving others.
“Work hard and want to do it. Don’t have to be forced to do it. Volunteer all the time.”