“Spencer Tipton is full of energy and never meets a stranger. He has made a lot of friends across the state and nation participating in 4-H conferences and competitions. He is multitalented, smart and athletic,” says Vicki Lofty, UT Extension, Marion County director. “I look forward to following his future success.”
Although Tipton is a very active 4-H member, 4-H isn’t the only organization through which he has honed his leadership, citizenship and healthy living skills.
Tipton recently culminated his Boy Scout career, which began in Cub Scouts, achieving the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America program—Eagle Scout. One of the requirements for earning the Eagle Scout rank is to complete a community service project. Tipton chose the task of repainting all of the fire hydrants in the City of South Pittsburg. This is a job usually carried out by municipal employees to freshen up the city before the annual Cornbread Festival. Tipton took on this project to save the city the expense and extra work load on city employees in the busy months before the event. “I probably spent 24 hours over the course of a week — some 8 hour days to complete the project,” said Tipton.
In addition to working toward his Eagle Scout requirements his senior year, he also served as assistant senior patrol leader for the troop. “Spencer has been a really good scout — a pleasure to work with,” said Chris Potts, Troup 63 leader. “He will go out of his comfort zone to try new things. It is quite an accomplishment to reach the rank of Eagle Scout; he is one of the select few.”
A leader at South Pittsburg High School as well as in 4-H and Boy Scouts, Tipton served as class vice-president his sophomore and junior year and as the senior class president.
“I took my role as the voice for my class seriously.” said Tipton. “I went to the whole class as individuals to get their ideas. I wanted all students to be heard, especially those who felt like what they wanted would never be heard, would never happen.”
Tipton has been a member of the South Pittsburg High School band as a trumpet player since seventh grade. He served his senior marching season in 2019 as the drum major.
“I saw the band experience from an entirely different perspective as drum major, Tipton said. “When there wasn’t an adult around, as the drum major, the leader, I had to make the decisions for the group. I had to take all things into account—what was best for the whole group not just what was best for me. It was a very important lesson in leadership.”
Because of the variety of leadership roles, he has held and the community service projects, Tipton has participated in, Tipton has been selected to participate in further leadership and citizenship training. He was chosen to represent South Pittsburg High School as a Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative delegate to the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s Youth Leadership Summit in Nashville in the spring of 2019 and as a delegate to the Tennessee American Legion Boys State in the summer of 2019. “The Boys State experience gave me a real sense of togetherness, said Tipton. “I learned you have to really work for what you want. I tried out for trumpet in the Boys State marching band and soon found out EVERYONE wanted to play trumpet so I had to work hard and do my very best to win that position. Then I had to work together with the other delegates to make the band the best it could be. I really had to be competitive and not give up. They worked us hard! We marched from 9:00 p.m until 11:30 p.m!”
Uncertain of where he wanted to attend college, Tipton applied to a number of universities; however, after visiting the United States Naval Academy, his focus became an appointment to the prestigious military institution. He achieved his goal and reported for indoctrination training in late July. “I’m kind of nervous about going so far away to school but really excited about this opportunity,” Tipton said. “I’m planning to major in political science and then go on to law school. I would love to be accepted to law school in the Ivy League, maybe Harvard. How great would that be!”
SVEC is proud to honor this driven young leader and his many successes.