WEST PORTSMOUTH — By now, the students at Portsmouth West High School have clearly learned how to navigate these unusual learning experiences. The proof lies in the fact that several West Beta students were not willing to rest on their wins at the National Beta Club Ohio state convention that was held in Columbus back in February. Typically, state winners move on to compete at the national convention in June. Yet this year, the national convention had to move to a virtual platform, so instead of traveling to Texas, West Betas took the initiative to submit their competitions virtually. As a result, PWHS has a record number of competitors as well as winners in the Top 10 in the nation.
West has a total number of four winners that stretched over six competitions. Ranking 10th, Angel Hammond placed in the Woodworking category. Chandler McClurg placed 6th in Creative Writing. Alison Cooper took two competitions. Her Sculpture placed 6th while her Color Photography entry earned her 3rd place. Haven Hileman also placed in two categories. She placed 5th in Agriscience testing and swept the nation as the Speech Champion with her speech on positive peer pressure.
West teachers are extremely proud of their students’ successes, especially VoAg teacher Ceci Sherman, art teacher Lance Estep, and Language Arts teacher Alison Smalley. Portsmouth West H.S. has a deep tradition with the National Beta Club, an academic-service organization, since its establishment in 1987 under sponsors Cecile and Steve Rapp. Since then, the club has been under the sponsorship of Alison & Richard Smalley for the last 24 years. Both Smalleys have served National Beta in their own way by serving as State Sponsor for Ohio. West is looking forward to next year’s competitions since all national winners are only juniors.