BRIGHT FUTURE: Natchez student takes home second-place prize at national convention

Published 3:24 pm Thursday, June 29, 2023

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NATCHEZ — A Natchez student made her school proud when she took home the second-place trophy in a national competition last weekend.

Serenity Patten, the daughter of Natasha and Aronte Patten, attended the National Beta Club Convention last weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, and took home the second-place trophy in English Language Arts.

She will be starting the 6th grade at Susie B. West Elementary School in the fall.

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In order to qualify for the National Beta competition, Patten said she first had to take an online test at her school and placed fifth at the state level.

She knew right away that she did well on her test, she said.

“When I took the online test before I left school (for the summer), it showed me how many I got correct. I got 49 out of 50 right,” she said. “I knew I was going to place because I’m smart.”

Smart she is, as Patten received perfect scores in both Math and ELA on the 2022 Mississippi MAAP assessments, an accomplishment for which she was named “Miss West Elementary” for the 2022-2023 school year.

However, Patten said she didn’t know until she got to the Beta Club convention in Louisville and was presented with a second-place trophy with her name on it that she was the second-highest scoring student there in ELA.

“One of my sponsors said I’d placed in the Top 5,” she said. “I didn’t know I made second place until I actually went to the back to get my trophy before going onstage. … It feels amazing. It makes me a celebrity.”

While attending the convention, Patten said she also enjoyed some sightseeing.

She made a wish at a wishing pond, visited monuments and walked across a footbridge, she said.

“It was a bit scary, so I stayed in the middle of the bridge,” she said. “I was scared I would drop my phone.”

Patten couldn’t decide which school subject is her favorite but did say that she enjoys “reading anything.” She recently finished reading the first book in “The Goddess Girls” series by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams.

“I’ve been reading since I was three, and when I started kindergarten I would read to the classes,” she said.

Patten also enjoys reading to her two younger siblings, Ayden and Harmony.

When she grows up, Patten said she would like to become a pediatrician. She added that when she was younger, Patten loved to play doctor with her dolls.

“I’ve always wanted to be a doctor, and I love helping other people, especially other children,” she said.

In her spare time, she loves drawing pictures and listening to music, and “sometimes I write my own music,” she said.