SFHS Senior Beta Club member $10,000 scholarship recipient

by Benita Fuzzell

South Fulton High School senior Daniel Pitts has worked hard to maintain good grades since elementary school, and starting in fifth grade, that achievement earned him membership in the South Fulton Elementary School Beta Club.

Through the years, Pitts’ high marks on his report card and ongoing Beta Club membership has afforded him the opportunity to attend state and national level Beta Club conventions and participate in competitions. in the areas of recyclable art, social studies, math, woodworking, t-shirt, banner and pin design.

This year, Pitts earned a first place finish at the State Beta Club convention in Nashville, Tenn. for his woodworking project, which means he will go on to compete at the national level of Beta competitions.

While he enjoys the networking capabilities of Beta Club gatherings across the state, and country, and has bonded with other Beta Club members from all parts of the United States, many of whom have become some of his closest friends, his most recent perk derived from his longtime Beta Club membership will no doubt have an impact on his live for many years after his upcoming high school graduation.

He has been notified of his awarding of a $10,000 Dale R. Hughes scholarship, through the state of Tennessee’s Senior Beta Club.

Pitts will officially receive his award during Class Night for the SFHS Class of 2024, and he will use the proceeds to help fund his studies at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he plans to major in mechanical engineering.

He credits his confidence in choosing a university far from home, with no local classmates or friends planning to enter their next phase of education at Chattanooga, to his skills learned through Beta Club.

“I wanted him to run for state Beta Club office,” Brandi Cantrell, South Fulton High School Beta Club sponsor said.

“To do that, you have to do a lot of campaigning. You have to get up in front of a lot of people and speak. I knew that might be difficult for Daniel, but he exhibits the character and integrity, at school and away from school, that would qualify him for that honor,” she said.

“He did not win that office, but we were all so proud of him. To show you what kind of person he is, as soon as the winning candidate was announced, his first response, after clapping for the winner, was ‘Ms. Cantrell, can I go congratulate them?’” Cantrell said.

Pitts is the son of Matthew and Laura Pitts.

He attended Kindergarten through first grade at Obion County School system’s Ridgemont School, before transferring to South Fulton Elementary where his mother, Laura Pitts served as Vice-Principal. She now serves as Principal of South Fulton Middle/High School.

His grandparents also served in a number of capacities within the Obion County School System, as educators, administrators and at the central school board office.

Pitts said, contrary to how it could be perceived, as being a “Principal’s kid”, he has little interaction with his mom throughout the school day.

“She’s so busy most all day long, I really don’t even see her during the school day. I do think sometimes he has to be so patient with all the other kids at school, she might not always have much patience left with me,” he said, jokingly.

The prestigious $10,000 scholarship was the only one awarded to a Tennessee student.

Pitts was also the recipient of a Beta Club Leadership Award in 2022 and earned a $1,000 National Beta Club scholarship.