Fred T. Foard's Gettys leading on, off of tennis court

A three-sport athlete at Fred T. Foard, Maggie Gettys is making waves off of the field of competition.

The Tiger senior is one of 16 students across the state on the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s (NCHSAA) Student Athlete Advisory Council.

Each high school in the state is allowed to give one student an application to join the council.

If selected, that student must serve a two-year term starting as a junior and continuing until they graduate from high school.

Gettys was nominated by former Foard assistant principal and athletic director Chad Smith for the honor.

“Maggie was an excellent selection to serve our region at the state level,” said Smith, who now works in the Caldwell County School System. “She was the first student that came to my mind when reading the qualifications. She is an excellent example of a student-athlete. She has a caring heart, bright mind and a competitive drive to be the best. I was very proud to have her selected, and Fred T. Foard should be proud to have her as one of their own.”

Gettys was overwhelmed by Smith’s choice to nominate her for the council.
“I felt honored to be the person from my school to even apply,” she said. “(Smith) told me it was pretty elite. When I got back a letter in the mail saying that I did get it, I was really happy. It’s really cool. I really like it.”

With Gettys representing Region 7, the 16-member council attends a variety of events throughout the calendar year, including volunteering for at least one NCHSAA state championship event.

When rules are debated by the NCHSAA, the council is allowed to speak on behalf of the students, providing them a voice in the matter.

The Student Athlete Advisory Council also presents a report during the NCHSAA’s regional meetings, as well as spring and winter Board of Directors’ meetings.

The biggest of Gettys’ tasks as a member of the council comes each April when she helps host and put together the NCHSAA Student Leadership Conference.

“Two people from each school can go to it,” Gettys said of the conference. “We had two from Foard and two from Hickory come this past year. I’m not sure if any other schools sent students. There are different speakers there. We breakfast and lunch. You can go to different topics of discussion and different speakers to listen to. There is usually some kind of entertainment, like a magic show, that finishes the conference off.”

While Gettys may be the lone voice on the NCHSAA’s Student Athlete Advisory Council, she is trying to get more Catawba County students involved.

“I’m hoping to get more people from our area to apply,” she said. “We need more people from Catawba County on the council.”

Not only does Gettys play tennis, soccer and basketball, but she is also a member of Foard’s Beta Club and is taking Honors English and Math classes.

The balance between playing sports and managing her course load can be challenging at times.

“It’s really difficult and time consuming, especially if you are taking really hard classes,” she said. “You have a lot of homework and juggled a lot of your time equally to give your best in everything.”

Gettys is planning to pursue a four-year degree or more and has already started the application process to both Appalachian State University and UNC-Asheville.

She plans to pursue a degree in either Communications, Public Relations or International Business.

As for her busy life of school and sports, Gettys enjoys every bit of it.
“It is kind of hard, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said. “I like it like that.”