By Karen Campbell
Special to The Press
Beta Club members from Gleason, Greenfield, Dresden, and Westview were among the approximately 4,500 students at the state convention held in Nashville last week, the largest in the history of Tennessee Senior Beta Convention. This week, Dresden Middle participated in the middle school convention.
The senior convention Thursday through Sunday and the junior version, Saturday through Monday, were held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
Beta Club promotes the ideals of “academic achievement, character, service and leadership among elementary and secondary school students.”
The annual conventions include competitions in subject areas, a Quiz Bowl, performances by show choirs, showcases for subjects ranging from robotics to performing arts, and running for, and voting on, new officers.
Dresden had four students place in the top five of their competitions. Mark Maddox II took 5th place in 9th grade Math; Paige Ganoe also earned 5th place in 10th grade AgScience; Erin Mallory was 3rd place in 11th grade AgScience; and Maddox Melton achieved 3rd place in Creative Writing. Rylie Childs ran for state vice-president.
Her speech was supported by a skit performed by her fellow Dresden club members.
Gleason High School had 21 of their 54 members attend the convention. Their good showing netted them the Convention Growth Award and School of Merit Award. In addition, Gracie Long, a sophomore, brought home 1st place in speech.
Gleason High School Beta is sponsored by Lee and Amy Lawrence, who have both been recognized as 2019 National Beta Educators of Distinction.
The school also added an elementary Beta Club this year in 4th and 5th grade.
Greenfield’s Kyleigh Pruitt placed 5th in Spanish, and Will Crews placed 2nd in social studies.
Westview’s Beta winners were Hannah Laster who placed 1st in Jewelry; Allie Baker who earned 4th in Black and White Photography; Mason VanCleave who took 5th in Social Studies; and Emily Baker who was 1st in Color Photography.
All winners are eligible for the National Beta Convention this summer.
Sherry Page, counselor at Greenfield High School, noted how valuable the experience was for students while also being a costly one. She estimated that a Beta Club of 25 members could easily spend more than $4,000 for the three-day event to cover transportation, housing, food, substitutes for teachers and supplies for the competitions.
The cost is such that Sharon School only budgets to attend every other year.
Dresden Middle was the only Weakley County middle school at this year’s convention. Twenty-eight members attended — Allie Spaulding, Summer DiPeitro, Tanner Thomas, Ross Finney, Cameron Schlicht, Ashton Leo, Will Kibbler, Parker Williams , Alyse Stafford, Ellie Poole, Miller Moore, Paisley Pittman, Ashlee Mallon, Isabell Cantrell, Gillian Melton, Anniston Perry, Anabelle Spence, Haley Jarred, Mollie Oliver, Kaci Finney, Alyssa Bradley, Marlee Scronce, Ashlyn Oliver, Kaylee Jarred, Rebecca Frazier, Eva Stafford, Britney Belle, and Abigail Rother.
Dresden High School members in attendance were Rylie Childs, Dryver Finch, Erin Mallory, Elizabeth Fulcher, Aleea Davis, Caylin Quick, Jacey McClure, Paige Ganoe, Kennedy Smith, Gabe Parnell, Landon Gallimore, Gracee Adams, Brinna Sanchez, Katie Brady, Carolina Pritchett, Cassidy Melton, Ashlyn Bright, Molly Maddox, Caroline Killebrew, Maddox Melton, Lauren Jones, Julie Mathis, Mark Maddox, Trevor Moore, Chandler Turnbow, Theron Cogburn and Nolan Pittman.
Gleason’s members who traveled to Nashville were Trevor Camacho, Caitlin Cook, Carter Cook, Connor Cook, Kiley Corbin, Belle Fowler, Madison Fuzzell, Haley Harrison, Christina Henry, Zach Holland, Tallon Legens, Julia Lewis, Gracie Long, Lance Montgomery, Lily Shannon, Lexia Snider, Keely Spain, Dylan Taylor, Cameron Thompson, Zanda Tipton, and Joe Witherspoon.
Greenfield was represented by freshmen Addy Usery, Courtney Mathews, Ramsey Crouse, Will Crews, Jared Goodlow, and Ryan Breuer; sophomores Paige Glisson, Edie Darby, Kayleigh Baxter, Mattie Winberry, Destiny Griffin, Kyleigh Pruitt, Zane High, and Tyler Ricketts; juniors Maura Shelton, Angela Campbell, Reese Biggs, Caroline Crouse, Kaylee Simmons, Sarah Arnold, Amy Mitchell, Makenzie Brock, and Emma Crews; and seniors Lydia Hazlewood, Maya Rash, Bailey Gordon, Tess Darby, Kassidy Harris, and Chloe’ Moore.
Westview attendees were Allie Abbott, Amy Kang, Ashley Wilkerson, Emily Baker, Allie Baker, Jenna Freeman, Hannah Laster, Emily Ray, Jonah Simmons, Mason VanCleave, James McGregor, Michael Moon, Jace Brown, Devyn Kerney, and Tristan Villasica.
Editor’s note: Karen Campbell is Communications Director for Weakley County Schools.
She may be contacted by email at Karen.Campbell@wcsk12tn.net.