The Putnam County High School Beta Club competed in the recent state Beta Club Convention held in Savannah on Jan. 22-24 and came home with 21 students winning competitions to qualify for the National Beta Club competitions on June 13-14 in Fort Worth, TX.
“I knew we had a great group of kids was I wasn’t expecting that many to qualify,” said Beta Club sponsor Leanne Moncrief, now in her second year with the club. “There is so much talent there. These are the top kids from all these schools around the state.”
Students of all grades can become members of the Beta Club as long as they have a 90 average on their GPA and are of good character without any discipline issues at the school.
Amongst the Putnam qualifiers were two first place winners in seniors Ansley Evans and Dillon Chambers. Evans took the top nod in the Fiber Arts division which entails a project made of fibrous material. Evans stitched a 3x4 quilt emblazoned with the Beta Club colors of black, gold and white.
Chambers, on the other hand, won first place in the Performing Arts division with a rousing musical karate demonstration that, according to Moncrief, had the crowd cheering loudly. In fact, autograph seekers looked up Chambers after his performance to say hello and get a signature.
While the club members have so many activities and other club opportunities at the school to occupy their time at the school, Moncrief said the club sometimes struggles to get everyone together.
“Our club struggles to meet regularly,” she explained. “There are other things going on and we have to share students with other clubs. At the state competitions, we just hold our breath and hope they do well in competition. They are pulled in so many different directions they might not have time to prepare but they did really well.”
Last year, Moncrief took 10 students to the Nationals and with 21 going this year, getting to Ft. Worth will be the challenge due to the suspensions and cancellations of schools and activities because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The key will be getting there,” she said. “Because of the school being out, we have lost many of our fundraising opportunities. It’s not going to be a cheap trip. If we can get there, we have a good chance to place.”
Beta Club National Qualifiers
• Reana Hardie-Digital Art, 2nd place
• Mayjewel Crosby-Jewelry, 3rd place
• Ansley Evans - Fiber Arts, 1st place
• Jenna Mullis - Jewelry, 2nd place
• Mary Grace Steverson - Woodworking, 2nd place
• Laila Pettigrew - Language Arts, 4th place
• Rileigh Gill, Jaida Jackson, Lily Nichols, & Emily Pressley - Freshman Problem Solving - 5th place
• Dillon Chambers, Tyree Griffith, Dalton McMahan, James Mead, & Jerry Zhang -Robotics - 2nd place
• William Dietrich, Connor Nipper, Sunay Shastri, Lily Thomas, & Tyler Wallace - Technology - 4th place
• Dillon Chambers - Performing Arts: Solo, Duo, Trio - 1st Place