Greyson “Grey” Beaubien is the inaugural recipient of the Wendy Williams Beasley Education Excellence Fund. Established in 2021 at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the Fund goes to Dickson County High School’s Valedictorian, of which Beaubien was honored upon graduation in May 2022.

He is now at student at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

The Fund is in memory of Wendy Ann Williams Beasley, a former Dickson County Board of Education and Board of Developmental Services member, who passed away Aug. 18, 2021, in Burns, Tennessee, at age 72.

Grey, age 18, has lived in Dickson his entire life with parents Brad and Andrea Beaubien and younger sister, Mia. While excited to attend Rice, “My hometown definitely has a sweet spot in my heart,” he says.

His favorite subject is mathematics: “I enjoy the problem-solving side of it, and I think the graphing equations are both fascinating and beautiful.”

Grey ran cross country in high school — placing third in the region championship and leading the Cougars to their first TSSAA State Championship appearance since 1985 — and also started as goalkeeper for the soccer team.

“Sports have been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember,” he says. “In high school, they were a great opportunity to stay in shape, relieve stress, and be in a competitive environment.”

As for becoming valedictorian, “When I was a freshman, I didn’t set out with the goal of being the valedictorian. I thought that that was too much pressure to put on myself,” he recalls. “Instead, I just decided that I would do my best on every assignment, and if I won, awesome, and if not, I would have no regrets.”

To relax, “I love to listen to podcasts and read news articles,” Grey says. “My favorites are The Atlantic, Vox’s ‘Today Explained,’ ‘This American Life,’ and NPR. I am also a big sports fan, and I follow college football and Formula 1 [car racing] closely. When I have time to relax, you can find me in my hammock with my earbuds in catching up on ‘This American Life,’ or on the couch watching Lewis Hamilton dominate F1.”

About the Wendy Williams Beasley Education Excellence Fund

The Community Foundation for Dickson County continues emphasizing education.

Established in 1999 and beginning its grantmaking in 2002, The Community Foundation for Dickson County is one of CFMT’s oldest and most active affiliates.

Education has always been a priority for the CFDC grantmaking. In 20 years of making grants to nonprofits and schools across Dickson County, more than 50 percent of the 235 grants, totaling $657,425, have been focused on education, literacy and music education. The first year of grantmaking totaled $12,500. In 2021, grants had more than quadrupled to $54,500.

It’s fair to say the organization has helped set the tone for emphasizing education in the entire county. Among other CFMT funding highlights, beyond the Wendy Williams Beasley Education Excellence Fund:

  • The Dickson County Retired Teachers Association established a fund in 2004 to award scholarships to students from Dickson County.
  • Since 2017, students of Creekwood High School in White Bluff and now Dickson County High School in Dickson as well have been able to earn college credit through dual enrollment at Austin Peay State University Foundation in Clarksville. Scholarships for students from Creekwood High School are funded through a grant to Austin Peay from the Bibb-White Bluff Legacy Fund.
  • The first two award funds recognizing student achievement in Dickson County — the Dickson County High School Fine Arts Department Legacy Award Fund and the Dickson County High School Wendell Hudson Memorial Award Fund — were established by retired teacher Patricia Hudson in 2018 and 2019 to recognize education excellence in art and history.