BY KAREN CAMPBELL
Weakley County Schools Communications Director
NASHVILLE (November 29) – Beta Club members from across Weakley County returned from the three State Conventions last week with stories of their first field trip in years and plaque-produced pride as several excelled in the academic, STEM, and arts-based competitions. Using the theme “Beta Together,” members spent several days exploring the Club’s four pillars of success: academic achievement, character, leadership, and service.
The Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville was the site for the in-person Elementary, Junior, and Senior conventions. Having been completely virtual last year, the 2021 State Convention was offered as a hybrid event. This gave students the opportunity to compete either virtually or onsite.
Dresden Middle, Dresden High, Gleason, Greenfield, Martin Elementary and Westview sent representatives to the competitions. Winners at the state level can now compete at the national level. National Convention will also be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville during Summer 2022.
DMS had students participating in both the Elementary and Junior Beta gatherings which followed the Senior Beta activities. Fifth graders Ally Bizzle and Scarlett Hart took home plaques in the Elementary State Beta Convention. Bizzle won 5th place in drawing. Hart won 1st place in black & white photography and second place in color photography at the Elementary State Beta Convention. A team from DMS including Dylan Parker, Brody Taylor, John Paul Oliver, Landon Carter, and Case Perry placed 5th in Junior Beta’s category of Engineering. Brittany Forrester is the 5th grade Beta Sponsor. DMS sponsors are Jamie Rickman, Mindy Thomas, Katie West, and Rhiannon Coleman.
Nineteen Dresden High students traveled to Nashville. They performed a skit to encourage votes for fellow DHS student Gillian Melton who ran for state vice president. Winners included Britney Bell, 1st place 9th grade Math; Cayden Lowry, 3rd place 9th grade Agriscience; Mark Maddox, 3rd place 11th grade Math; and Sam Laws, 3rd place 12th grade Agriscience. Cassie King and Alison Moctezuma are the DHS Beta Club sponsors.
Twenty of Gleason High School’s 42 Beta members competed in Nashville. Senior Gracie Long placed first in the Speech Competition with her presentation entitled “The Bystander Effect.” Long also earned the first-place title when she competed as a sophomore. Thirteen 8th grade Beta members from Gleason School attended the Junior Beta Convention in Nashville with sponsors Kerri Maddox and Melody Hopper and were able to grab a photo with former Gleason and Weakley County School Administrator Mitchell Parham who now serves as the Tennessee Beta Club Council Chair. Amy and Lee Lawrence also serve as sponsors of the Gleason High School Beta Club.
Three of the 21 Greenfield Beta members placed in the state. Tres Douglas took 3rd place in Social Studies. Lilly Boyd earned 3rd place in Poetry. Courtney Mathews placed 5th in Math. Denise Douglas and Linda Farmer are the Greenfield sponsors.
Since all the Martin Elementary students who attended the Elementary Beta Convention contributed to the Portfolio project that earned 3rd place, the entire group came home as winners. Others who claimed additional top spots include Meryl Norton, Brinlee Manns, Peyton Dortch, Anabelle Brundige, 3rd place Service Learning Showcase; Emmitt Bragg, Cassidy Halverson, Callie Hollowell, Mitchell Lewter, Ainsley Phillips, 2nd place Engineering; Hudson Hawks, 2nd place Woodworking; John Baker, 3rd place Drawing; Kiera Wells, Kaycee Carlson, Addyson Wilson, Meryl Norton, Albanee Barnes, Eleanor Shelton, 2nd place Jewelry; Molly Dodson, Kaycee Carlson, Meryl Norton, Addyson Wilson, 4th place Written Quiz Bowl; and Meryl Norton, Kaycee Carlson, Molly Dodson, Addyson Wilson, 5th place Quiz Bowl Finals. Sponsors are Cindy Watkins and Tina Brown.
Fifteen of Westview’s 136 members traveled to Nashville. Students who placed include Oliveah Barnes, 5th place in Division I Science; Matthew Moon, 3rd place in Division I Creative Writing; Alyssa Chua, 3rd place in Division II Speech; and a team of Jacob Foltz, Nicholas Sterrett, Joseph Roupe, Michael Moon, and Christopher Ostenson who took 3rd place in Robotics. Westview sponsors are Seth Frields, Kim Simmons, Ashley Meadows, and Brooke Stover.
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 Junior Beta includes grades 4-8 and National Senior Beta includes grades 9-12. Visit betaclub.org for more information.