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Academic Aces: Beddingfield
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Academic Aces: Beddingfield

The Wilson Times talked with the top seniors from each public school in the area about their high school experience, their plans for life after graduation and about what it’s like to juggle academics, sports and part-time jobs.

The students highlighted in today’s edition were selected by the administration at each school based on their grade-point averages as of early May.

Graduations will be held Saturday at Fike High School at 10 a.m., at Hunt High School at 1 p.m. and at Beddingfield High School at 4 p.m.



Beddingfield High School is home for 18-year-old Jenna Pate.

"It’s what you do all day every day,” she said. "You come here and you know everybody.”

High school hasn’t been easy. But Jenna said at Beddingfield you have people who "help you all the time.”

Jenna has taken a mixture of IB and AP courses. She’s played volleyball, basketball and softball. She was also on the swim team. Jenna participated in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Bruinettes, Student Government Association, National Honor Society, the freshman mentoring program and the chorus ensemble.

Jenna said the most challenging thing about high school has been keeping up with all of the work for her classes. Plus, she also found it overwhelming to deal with all of the calls and correspondence from potential colleges. Jenna still receives at least three messages a day.

She applied to five colleges but settled on East Carolina University. Jenna is part of ECU’s Honors College and plans to study exercise physiology. Although, it’s possible she might change her major to business. She’ll make that decision later this month when she goes to orientation.

Jenna said people ask her about the future. But right now, she doesn’t have an answer.

"I can’t picture myself doing anything other than going to high school right now,” she said.

Jenna credits her father for pushing her to make A’s in high school. Jenna said she wouldn’t be one of the top seniors if he’d thought B’s were good enough.

In her free time, Jenna enjoys watching "Make it or Break it,” "Big Bang Theory,” and she’s just started watching "The Bachelorette.” The last book she read outside of class was "The Lucky One” by Nicholas Sparks. She plans to go to the beach this summer and attend several concerts, including Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan.

Jenna is the daughter of Danny and Donna Pate.



Brody Eastwood has always set high expectations for himself.

Being at the top of his senior class academically has always been a goal since elementary school.

Brody has achieved that goal and more. He’s the recipient of a National Merit Scholarship. He’s also been admitted to the Honors Program at North Carolina State University.

Brody applied to one school — North Carolina State University — because of his desire to become an engineer.

"If I’m going to be an engineer, I’m going to N.C. State, come on,” he said. Brody’s leaning toward studying both electrical and computer engineering so he can maybe one day make robots.

During his four years at Beddingfield, Brody has been active in National Honor Society. He participated on the mock trial team and in the Student Government Association. He swam for Beddingfield and tried his hand at playing tennis.

"I was never any good at it, though,” Brody said of tennis.

High school has been a "tiresome” experience for Brody.

His academic work hasn’t been that hard. It’s just that Brody found that IB courses are about giving students more work than is reasonable. But then he also realizes "that’s kind of the point” behind IB courses.

"I just want to be done with high school,” Brody said.

Brody, 17, admits he procrastinated a bit too much toward the end of this school year. He had to read three texts for a course simultaneously.

"When you have three texts to read for the exam, don’t wait till May. It won’t work out,” he said.

This summer, Brody will have his wisdom teeth pulled. He also plans to play video games. Brody makes time in his schedule to watch television. He enjoys animated shows like "My Little Pony Friendship is Magic,” and "Adventure Time.” He also likes "Defiance.”

Brody recently re-read "Scout Pilgrim.”

"IB doesn’t leave a lot of time for reading for fun,” he said.

Brody is the son of Jimmie and Deborah Eastwood.

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