Clinton City Schools are fortunate enough to have two students who qualify for the National Beta Convention in New Orleans this summer, but the system will only incur the expense for students who earn a first place honor.
Clinton High School students Luke Swartz and Skyler Simmons both earned the privilege to compete at the national level. Swartz earned first place in the spelling competition with a perfect score of 100, while Simmons earned second place for a pencil drawing.
The board policy is to fully support first place winners at the national level, but no financial support is given for those earning second place. To help offset the costs for the June trip, Beta advisors and Simmons have set up a GoFundMe account to help defer those costs, which could be more than $2,000.
“The account has been set up to help defer the costs for Skyler Simmons, a Clinton High student who plans to attend the Beta Club National Convention in New Orleans,” Beta Club advisor Allison Brock said. “Any donations to this account will go to the student’s hotel and travel expenses, which could be in excess of $2,000.”
According to Beta representatives, this will be a life changing experience for Simmons, and a chance to represent Clinton High School in a national competition.
Art is a passion for Simmons and she plans on attending Campbell University in the fall and double majoring in graphic design and marketing, and is currently doing an internship at Star Communications through Clinton High School, where she works directly with their graphic design department.
“This experience would be of great value in preparing her for the competitive nature that she will be submerged in throughout college and the work force, as well as this will be a great cultural experience,” advisors noted.
Clinton High School principal Dr. Steven Miller, who spoke on Simmons’ behalf during the April board meeting, requesting the board make an exception to the rule and financially support Simmons on the New Orleans trip, said he is very supportive of the senior artist and has contributed to the account.
“Clinton High is fortunate to have such a talented young artist who is also a senior Beta competitor,” Miller shared. “We wish her luck in New Orleans, she will represent Clinton-Sampson well. I am glad for the opportunity to support her through GoFundMe and have done so.”
Simmons is the daughter of Michelle Gainey and Ralph Simmons Jr.
For those interested in contributing, please visit www.gofundme.com/CHSBETA.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.