Central Hardin High School, Elizabethtown High School, North Hardin High School, and John Hardin High School’s beta clubs recently competed in the 81st annual state beta conference in Louisville.
Students competed in various competitions, both technical and academic, from January 9-11 at the Kentucky International Convention Center.
EHS concluded the pact with the most number of placements with 28, while CHHS had 20, JHHS and NHHS had nine and eight placements, respectively.
Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students were unable to attend many of the competitions that were virtual or mixed.
CHHS Beta Club patron Angela Cannon said she enjoyed watching the students work as a team this school year. At this conference, the team competed in more events, she said, it was interesting to see how far her students have come.
“I can go on and on about how special this collection is to me. I really, really enjoy it,” Cannon said.
Senior CHHS Grant Avis competed in the Social Studies Written Exam and Quiz Bowl. He said the Quiz Bowl teams have been friends since the sixth grade, so the connection is close. They ended up placing 4th in the oral part and 1st in the written part.
Since the ruling scholars program was during last year’s national convention, Avis has been unable to attend, but plans to compete one last time this year.
Chloe Hornback, a student at EHS, participated in seven competitions and was placed in six of them. She said that many of these are collaborations between club members.
Hornback said his ability to come in person this year may have helped secure more places for the club.
Eva Ramsey, EHS junior, has competed in eight competitions, many in the arts. She said individual accomplishments are particularly satisfying because they contribute to the club’s success.
“I definitely enjoyed being able to walk on stage and get individual recognition on stage and get those awards for myself, but at the same time I helped the whole demo club,” Ramsay said.
Individuals and teams qualify for the Nationals by placing them in the top five in various competitions.
Stacy Moore, a JHHS Beta Club sponsor, said many students were able to attend this year, including students who had never gone before.
“There was just…positive energy there,” Moore said. “Kids really miss doing things like that.”
Moore said PETA clubs support each other from across the state.
Sean Sizemore, EHS Beta Club sponsor, said Beta clubs in the county support each other at the conventions.
“We all have a vested interest in children in our community,” Sizemore said.
Summer McCune, a JHHS senior, has been at the Beta Club since the eighth grade.
“It’s so much fun to be able to spend time with everyone,” she said.
McKeown took part in a language arts competition and also participated in a skit for a club character and took second place.
McKeown said she’s never been to the Nationals before and is excited to be a part of it.
Outside of competitions, Beta Clubs also log thousands of hours of service work each academic year.
Student service projects included hosting a Truck or Treat last October, and they’ve also been delivering lunch boxes to families during the holiday season, Moore said.
“…It’s a good way for our pilot students and staff to work together to bless those families,” she said.
Hornback said the club volunteered at a local animal shelter this year and also collected supplies for last month’s tornado victims in western Kentucky.
Hornback also said this year that she helped collect items for hot blessings. She said she met a homeless man at the facility, which affected her.
“There are still … real people in the community who need our help,” she said.
Avis said the club has helped local students get involved in the community with many different jobs, and that’s its real success.
“It’s not because of our victories in some competitions. It’s because of who we are as people,” Avis said.
Sizemore said they want to bring in more students to citizens this year than last year, which takes money.
This year’s National Convention takes place in Nashville July 1-4 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
Andrew Harp can be reached at 270-505-1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.