BY KAREN CAMPBELL
Weakley County Schools Communications Director
DRESDEN (March 26) – Two Dresden Middle School Beta Club members placed in competitions in this year’s virtual state convention. Though the Tennessee Elementary and the Tennessee Junior Virtual State Convention was an online event, they both received fifth-place prizes. Zoey Matte was recognized for Elementary Color Photography and Britney Bell for Junior Grade 8 Math.
Typically, National Beta State Conventions bring together students from across the state to compete in a variety of competitions, ranging from academic and STEM-based to visual and performing arts. While State Convention, originally planned to be held in Nashville, was cancelled for in-person competitions due to health and safety concerns stemming from the COVID-19, members worked hard while taking online tests and preparing competition submissions for their Virtual Convention. Their victories at the state level provide the opportunity to compete at the national level. National Convention will be held at the Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, during Summer 2021.
“We were disappointed that we were unable to attend an in-person convention; however, our members have continued to work hard to make their Beta experience the best it can be,” said Jamie Rickman, Dresden Middle’s Beta Sponsor. “The sponsors are all very proud of the members of our club and their accomplishments, despite the restrictions from COVID-19,” she added.
Each year, the DMS Beta club completes hundreds of hours of community service. Rickman explained that although activities have been restricted this year, to date the members have completed 544 hours of community service. For their efforts, they have earned the first-place spot on National Beta’s National Leaderboard.
This school year, Beta members hosted the annual Veterans Day Program.
For the last 10 years, Betas have worked to raise money and maintain The Lions’ Den. This year’s store managers, Mollie Oliver and Summer Di Pietro, have spent numerous hours ensuring that the store is well run, noted Rickman.
Dresden Middle School Beta was founded in 1975. This club has been honored as both a School of Distinction and School of Merit by National Beta. Currently 93 members make up the DMS Beta.
Junior officers include Mollie Oliver, president; Ellie Poole, vice president; Allie Spaulding, secretary; Bella Turnbow, treasurer; Summer Di Pietro, reporter; Britney Bell, grade 8 representative; Kendall Melton, grade 7 representative; Bella Hendrix, grade 6 representative; Abigail Kibbler, teacher appreciation; and John Paul Oliver and Case Perry, school sign maintenance.
Elementary officers include Carter Oliver, president; Emma Parham, vice president; Madelynn Thomas, secretary; and Tess Ogg, grade 5 representative.
The sponsors are Rickman, Mindy Thomas, Katie West, Rhiannon Coleman, and Abby Huffstetler.
With more than 500,000 active members and 8,750 clubs nationally and internationally, National Beta has become the nation’s largest independent, non-profit, educational youth organization. National Beta promotes the ideals of academic achievement, character, service and leadership among elementary and secondary school students. National Junior Beta includes grades 4-8 and National Senior Beta includes grades 9-12. Visit betaclub.org for more information.