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Administrators at Ivy Preparatory Academy Gwinnett have extended an invitation to high-achieving scholars to join the Beta Club, IPA’s first student organization to receive national recognition for the academic prowess of its members.

The Ivy Prep Academy Beta Club promotes scholarship, leadership, character, and community service. Ivy scholars in grades 6-8 who have good behavior and a grade point average of at least a 3.5 are recommended by teachers to be considered for membership in the prestigious organization.

“It’s an honor to be in Beta Club,” said Dr. LaShunda Hawkins, assistant principal at IPA Gwinnett, who serves as the new sponsor for Beta Club. “It teaches you how to become a leader and how to work as a team. “
Beta Club members in grades 7-8 travel to an annual state leadership conference each year that features motivational speakers and club competitions.

In July, four members of Ivy Prep’s Beta Club – Jedidah Titus, Mackenzie Williams, Shama Khan and Janai Kameka – competed as a team at Junior Beta Club’s national conference in Nashville, Tenn., where they placed fourth playing a Jeopardy-style Quiz Bowl game that tested their mastery of math, literature, social studies, and science. The scholars took a test with 25 questions and a bonus essay to earn a spot in the final rounds. They competed against teams from 35 states across the country.

“We are the only group in Georgia that made the top four,’’ beamed Mr. Chaz Patterson, principal of IPA Gwinnett. “I was so elated that our girls went in and did what they needed to do and got fourth place.”

“This is the first Ivy Prep group to make it to nationals,” said Ms. Linda Desmond, who led the organization last school year and attended nationals with the group. “I am really proud of them. They learned that they can achieve anything that they put their mind to.”

Beta Team Ivy qualified for nationals after winning second place in the Quiz Bowl at the state conference in Macon last November. The team defeated 75 contenders. Ivy Prep took 36 Beta Club members to the overnight conference to compete in a variety of events that showcased their intellectual and artistic talents.

The scholars on the team are gearing up for a new round of competition in November.

“I can’t wait to see what we will do this year,” Dr. Hawkins said.

Beta Club members met recently to discuss membership intake and plans to attend the next state convention, which will be held on November 19-20 at the Macon Marriott City Center. Students can compete in the Quiz Bowl event and in several other contests.
Ivy Prep’s Beta Club is a local chapter of National Beta Club, the country’s largest independent nonprofit youth organization. National Beta Club has been serving scholars for 80 years. It has more than 350,000 members nationwide.

Beta Club is one of Ivy Prep’s largest student organizations. In addition to attending the state conference, club members also host community service activities.

Sixth graders become eligible for Beta Club membership after report cards are issued.

“We are looking at kids who have been on the honor roll and who exemplify our Prep Values – Professionalism, Responsibility, Engagement and Perseverance,” Hawkins said. “We teach them about leadership and everything they need to know to prepare for college.”

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