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From Staff Reports
Several Greene County junior high school students recently participated in the state junior and elementary Beta convention, and many of them have qualified to participate in the national Beta convention in June in Nashville, Tenn.
Students from Leakesville Junior High School, Sand Hill School and McLain Attendance Center have been preparing for this year’s state Beta convention since they returned from Christmas break. Talks about what club members would enter at the convention began before then, and all their preparations have paid off in a big way. Students had even more excitement for this year with the return of an in-person convention. While these schools compete against one another at the convention, they all represent our county. The elementary division of the Jr. Beta Club is for fourth and fifth grade students.
Sand Hill School had 40 students attend this year’s state convention, and Beta sponsor Kristy Nicholson said attending the competition in-person was a first for many of this year’s club members. Some academic competitions took place virtually before the convention, but that didn’t stop students from leaving their marks. Mailee Byrd placed fourth in Fourth Grade Language Arts, Blake Garrett placed fifth in Fourth Grade Science, Ledger Whiddon placed second in Fourth Grade Social Studies, Pete Walley placed fifth in Fifth Grade Social Studies and Carson Holder earned fifth place in Seventh Grade Social Studies. The SHS Quiz Bowl team brought home third place. Quiz bowl team members are Garrett Stinson, Drew Nicholson, Caston Walley and Pete Walley.
Several SHS Beta Club members brought home top awards from the convention in arts and technology categories. Students in SHS’s elementary division brought home several awards. McKenna Meadows received third place in Black and White Photography, Annie Meadows earned second placed in Color Photography and fourth place in Painting. Brynlee Whisenhunt earned fourth place in Jewelry, and Mailee Byrd received fourth place in Fiber Arts. Caston Walley won third place in Recyclable Art, and Ella Stinson earned first place for woodworking.
Jr. Beta students bringing home awards were Tori Stinson with fifth place in Black and White Photography, Keeli McDonald with third place in Painting and Lynli Freeman with second place in Sculpture.
SHS student Ian Rayner created a two minute film that won second place at the state convention. The school’s elementary engineering team brought home fifth place with team members Blake Garrett, Drew Nicholson, Ella Stinson, Garrett Stinson and Caston Walley. Both the Jr. and Elementary Robotics teams brought home first place plaques. Jr. team members are Perry Errington, Carson Holder, Bodie McLain and Quaid Meadows. Elementary team members are Blake Garrett, Drew Nicholson, Ian Rayner, Garrett Stinson and Caston Walley.
SHS Elementary Living Literature team brought home the first place win for their scene from the children’s classic Charlotte’s Web, with several students posing as characters from the book. The Jr. Living Literature team brought home fourth place for their scene “The Outsiders.”
Several 4-8 graders at SHS were rewarded with a first place win in the convention’s Songfest, and many of those performers participated in the performing arts group where they performed a patriotic routine which earned them second place.
“It is not possible to provide our students with this awesome experience without the assistance of teachers and parents,” Nicholson said. “It takes many dedicated people to make this happen. I truly appreciate every person who helped in any way.
Leakesville Junior High School Beta Club members brought home 20 awards from the state Beta convention, including State Jr. Beta Vice President Kallie Bradley and State Elementary President Madilyn Eubanks. Skits for both campaigns won first place at state, and both teams are planning on taking their skit and campaign to nationals this summer with high hopes on a victory there.
Bringing home first place wins for LJHS were Madilynn Edwards in Sculpture and the 2-D Designs. Earning second place awards were Isabella Dobbins in Creative Writing, Elementary Engineering-Isabella Dobbins, Bryant Catlett and Brees Byrd, Isabella Dobbins in Math, Kensley Lundy in Painting, Julieann Allgood in Woodworking and the Songfest group. LaKyla Walley brought home third place in Science, and the 3-D Design group brought home third place. Fourth place awards were earned by Raegan Dueitt in Science, Isabella Dobbins in Drawing and Devin Jones for Speech. Students bringing home fifth place awards were Keltzie Williams for Digital Art, Kassin Kittrell in Language Arts, Madilynn Edwards in Recyclable Arts, KeAndrae Rankin in Social Studies and the Living Literature group.
McLain Attendance Center had several Beta Club students attend the convention, with a few of them earning a place at the national convention. Graham Breland brought home a first place award in Jr. Beta Speech, and the Elementary Engineering group brought home a fourth place award. Students in the engineering group are Christofer Bolton, Madilynn Cook, Larkyn Cook, Brycen Giles and Maria Hernandez.
The National Jr. Beta Club Convention will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., from June 27-30. Students from all schools will be fundraising to help them cover the cost of getting there, where they will represent Greene County on a national stage.