The ties that bind Erath’s trio of National Beta Officers

As the Erath High School Beta Club returned from the national convention, amidst the bus load of tired teens making their way home the morning of June 25th, was the 3rd National Sr. Beta Club officer in the school’s history.

This past January, Erath native Ryan Poche was elected as the state Beta President. During the week of June 21st through 24th, Poche and area beta clubs upped the ante to reach for a higher goal in Nashville Tennessee. The group’s goal was to help elect a Louisiana representative at the national level. The hard work of Poche, sponsors and beta clubs from Erath High, Kaplan High, Catholic High of New Iberia and others paid off as Ryan Poche was voted the Beta Club President at the national level.

Poche is the 3rd Erath High student to claim a national officer’s title in the senior club in the past 13 years. Erath Middle has had two Jr. Beta National officers as well.

Poche will serve the National Chapter during 2011-2012. The senior is Erath High’s second National President. In 1998, EHS graduate Jade Nunez left the National Convention with the same title and ironically in the same city (Nashville) as Poche. During 2009-2010 another former EHS graduate, Lauren Lange was elected and served as Secretary for the National Beta Club.

In looking at the three EHS students who have been elected, evident are attributes that tie the trio together. Aside from leading parallel academic careers and serving in similar leadership roles, each have set high standards for themselves, have a clear vision and above all else, always work hard to achieve their goals.

Dr. Jade Nunez 1998-1999 National Beta President (See photo details below the article)

Jade Nunez who served as the 1st ever National Beta Club officer from Erath High is currently on the tail end of achieving his career goal. With the dream of becoming a trauma surgeon, Nunez graduated from Erath High in 1999 and received his MD from LSUHSC in 2007. He then spent three years at the Ochsner Clinic as a general surgery resident. He completed his surgical critical care fellowship in June of 2011 at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he will remain for his final two years of surgery residency.

Nunez recently returned from a month in Johannesburg, Africa where he was able to work with top trauma surgeons. In 2005, he participated in a medical school trip to Maracaibo, Venezuela as well.

As Nunez recently spoke about his long journey he stated quite simply, “after it (his journey) is all said and done, I will be finally be a trauma surgeon.”

Nunez is the son of Carson and Fran Nunez of Erath and has three siblings, Beau, Kyle and Mya. Nunez has plans to marry Danielle Mitchell, a teacher from Baton Rouge in November.

Lauren Lange 2009-2010 National Beta Secretary (See photo details below the article)

2010 EHS graduate Lauren Lange became the National Beta Secretary at the Orlando, Florida Convention and served throughout the 2009-10 school year.

As Poche begins his tenure as the National Beta President this year, his cousin Lauren will begin her sophomore year at Tulane University, majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology.

As an active college student, Lange serves as tour guide for Tulane, Senator-At-Large on the undergraduate student government, and is on the varsity cheerleading squad at Tulane. This is her 2nd year as a cheerleader. She is currently in the Honors Program at Tulane and is one of the two Tulane freshmen to serve on the Dean’s executive board. Lange is also part of the Global Brigade program and she recently traveled to Honduras on a medical mission.

Upon graduation from Tulane Lange, like Nunez hopes to be a surgeon. Her goal is to attend medical school in New Orleans and eventually become an orthopedic surgeon, with a sports medicine specialty. Lange is the daughter of Keith and Angela Lange with one brother, Jordan.

The youngest of the three is Ryan Poche who will be an Erath High senior this fall. As a natural born leader, he clearly possesses the same ambition as his two EHS predecessors.

Poche will serve as Class President again during his senior year. He has been president since 9th grade and serves on the EHS Student Council. Not only has he been Sr. Beta President for the State, but also served as the Louisiana Jr. Beta President while at Erath Middle. He has 4.0 GPA and Poche is active in sports such as cross country, soccer and football.

Last summer Poche attended HOBY (Hugh O’Brien Leadership Conference in Baton Rouge) after which two other Louisiana students were chosen to participate in the World Conference in San Francisco, California. As part of his service work, he had the opportunity to work with Habitat for Humanity program last summer.

This past January he was elected and served as the District Attorney for the Vermilion Parish Government Day. He attended Boy’s State and has plans to attend the National Broyhill Conference in mid July.

After graduation in 2012, he hopes to attend Tulane or LSU with the hope of attending Law School. He is the son of Mark and Schuyler Poche with one sister, Caroline.

In addition to the EHS trio who served the on the National Sr. Beta level, two Erath Middle students have also served as National Beta Officers at the Jr. Beta level. Those are Chandra Comeaux and Jennifer Drott.

On Lauren Lange’s current facebook site, she has no less than a dozen positive quotes filling her page. One quote in particular from the 2004 movie “A Cinderella Story’ is a simple yet powerful phrase that binds this trio together. The quote states “Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.”

Without a doubt, Poche, Lange and Nunez can say they are not only played in the game, but have scored homeruns. In looking back it is obvious each stepped up to the plate by setting goals in life. Then picked up the bat and worked hard to achieve those goals and last, they swung that bat with hope, knowing all too well, that they are not only played in the game, but they gave it their very best shot.

Photo Details for each collage

Ryan Poche Collage: Top left: Ryan Poche has always been an avid reader. He is shown at Dozier Elementary as the top AR reader. He earned that title throughout his school years. Top right: Last summer, Ryan Poche and two other Louisiana students were chosen to participate in the (HOBY) World Conference in San Francisco, California. As part of his service work, he had the opportunity to work with Habitat for Humanity Program. Bottom left: Ryan Poche is currently as the LA State Beta President and the National Beta Club President. Poche is shown at the convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Bottom right: Ryan Poche with his family in Nashville at the National Beta Convention where he was named the National Beta Club President. Pictured are Schuyler, Ryan, Mark and Caroline Poche.

Jade Nunez Collage: Two top photos show Jade Nunez as the National Sr. Beta President during 1998-1999. The bottom left shows Nunez on his recent trip to Johannesburg, South Africa. He spent May working in the trauma unit at Johannesburg General. Pictured are Nils Edstrom, Jade Nunez, Tchaibo, and Sarah Nietz. Bottom right shows Nunez on a medical school trip to Maracaibo, Venezuela in 2005.

Lauren Lange Collage: Top left: Lauren Lange was elected during the 75th Anniversary of the Beta Club in 2009 in Orlando, Florida. Top right: Pictured are the 2009-2010 National Beta Officers Lauren Lange, Secretary, Akeem Muhammed, President (from Illinois) and Wood Smith, Vice-President (from Kentucky). Bottom left: Lauren Lange is in her 2nd year at Tulane. She will be on the varsity squad this coming fall. (Bottom right) Lange is part of the Global Brigade program and she recently traveled to Honduras on a medical mission. 


Erath High School

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Erath, LA 70533

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