By GINA KINSLOW
Glasgow Daily Times
For several years, Barren County Middle School eighth-grader Hadleigh Hammer aspired to become Kentucky State Junior Beta Club president.
“My brother was in Junior Beta. I watched him do it and one of his close friends ran for president,” she said. “Once I got to where I was in Junior Beta in the fifth grade, I set that as a goal I wanted to do whenever I got older.”
Hammer competed against eight other students to become president of her school’s Beta Club. After winning the school title, she advanced to state competition last weekend in Louisville and faced three opponents to be elected as state president during the Kentucky State Junior Beta Club Convention.
Her campaign slogan was “Stop! Hammer Time,” a reference to the lyrics of MC Hammer’s song “U Can’t Touch This.”
Hammer wrote a speech, which she memorized and delivered during the convention.
“I had to have a speech that I knew could help me achieve my goal,” she said.
She also had to develop a skit based on her campaign slogan. In the skit, her classmates, wearing gold colored parachute pants, danced to “U Can’t Touch This.”
Hammer wasn’t even born when the song was released.
“It was interesting,” she said. “It came out on Jan. 13, 1990, and I was born Jan. 13, 2000.”
Hammer was overjoyed when she learned she had been elected state president.
“Oh Lordy,” she said. “I was definitely full of excitement. My club was behind me 100 percent the whole way.”
Hammer continues a tradition at her school by being elected state president – as many as nine BCMS students have been elected state president over the past 10 years, said Tina Wilson, one of the school’s Beta Club sponsors.
Wilson was watching Hammer’s reaction when it was announced she had been elected president.
“I was probably as excited as she was,” Wilson said. “I knew she had worked hard the entire time and just to see her accomplish that was great.”
Hammer will advance to the national Junior Beta Club competition this summer.
“Between here and nationals I will be going to other state Junior Beta conventions and over the summer I will be going to leadership camp for it,” she said.
She will also be doing a lot of volunteer work. She recently volunteered to help with a basketball tournament and with a fall festival at Eastern Elementary School.
“I don’t think I put this on my log, but I’ve been doing volunteer service at nursing homes,” she said. “My great-grandmother is in the nursing home and I kind of go there and help out. She tells me all the time, whenever I’m there, how the other people, some of them don’t have families to come and visit them, so I just go and kind of talk to them; listen to them.”
Hammer already has an idea about what career she wants to explore.
“After high school I plan to go into the health profession,” she said. “I kind of want to be a surgeon.”
Aside from being involved in the Junior Beta Club, Hammer also plays softball, soccer and basketball. She is also a magnet school student and is involved with the Glasgow-Barren County Leaders of the Future.
Running for state president has been a learning experience.
“I’ve learned that if you put your mind to anything, you can achieve your goals,” she said. “And there is no better feeling that having to do something for somebody, such as volunteer work. You get more in return from that than you could with any material item.”
Hammer is the daughter of Bart and Heather Hammer.
She was not the only student in southcentral Kentucky to win a state office at the convention. Dalton Hodges, a Monroe County Middle School seventh-grader, was elected state Junior Beta Club chaplin. He, too, will advance to national competition. He is the son of Chris and Beth Hodges.
Others who placed at the convention are:
Barren County Middle School
Bradon Burks, second place, speech; Emi Jones, second place, poetry; Erin Wilson, second place, watercolor; Group Talent, third place; and Campaign Skit, third place.
Glasgow Middle School
McKay Bowles, third place, campaign speech; Thad Dial, third place, social studies; Jasmine Smith, first place, recycled art; Group Awards, crafts sweepstakes: Brooklyn Alexander, cross stitch; Patrick Diener, woodworking; Mya Jones, decorated wreath; and Jasmine Smith, recycled art.
Monroe County Middle School
Songfest, first place; Spotlight Your Club, third place.
Caverna Middle School
Katelyn Lewis, first place, digital photography;
Metcalfe County Middle School
Madison Gillentine, third place, spelling; Zach Shearer, third place, recycled art.
Metcalfe County Intermediate Center
Shelby Thompson, first place, black and white photography.
Highland Elementary School
Group talent, first place.
Red Cross Elementary School
Scrapbook, first place; Seth Hagan, second place, sculpture.
Hiseville Elementary School
Spotlight Your Club, first place; Banner, second place.
Tompkinsville Elementary School
Living Literature, first place; Camden Jackson, second place, woodworking.
Gamaliel Elementary School
Living Literature, second place.
Temple Hill Elementary School
Spotlight Your Club, second place; Banner, third place.
South Green Elementary School
Hayden Botts, third place, digitally enhanced photography; Eli Travis, second place, cross stitch; and Group Talent, top five finalists.
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