WEST PORTSMOUTH — Students from Portsmouth West High School’s Beta Club will be traveling to New Orleans at the end of the month to participate in the National Beta Club convention.
The National Beta Club is the largest independent, non-profit, educational youth organization in America. Beta Club aims to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, service and leadership among students.
Portsmouth West is the only local school that is a part of the National Beta Club, with more than 60 students participating.
“Our requirements are that the students must maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA and they have to submit documented community service hours quarterly, we require 20 service hours each year,” explained Beta Club Advisor Alison Smalley.
The National Beta club holds annual state conventions in 18 states, including Ohio. The 65th Annual Ohio Beta club convention was held at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus from March 31 until April 1. The winners of these state events go on to compete on a national level.
“Activities range from academic contests, quiz bowls, art shows and talent competitions, and we won several of the categories” said Smalley.
Conventions give members the opportunity to interact, share project ideas and showcase their academic and leadership abilities. It also allows the students to travel and meet other Beta members from all over the state.
Overall, the club placed first in Banners, Special Talent, Scrapbooks. They also placed second overall in Quiz Bowl and third in Living Literature.
Student Jade Ratliff will be entering her Junior year of high school in the fall. She has been a member of the beta club for two years and placed first in Math Division I.
“I enjoy meeting new people and helping our community,” Ratliff explained. “I’m looking forward to the national convention, I think it will be fun to meet other beta members from around the nation and competing with those people. I think we have a great chance at winning.”
Student Haleigh Pollard won overall Best of Show, and first in Drawing and Sculpture.
Terra Butcher placed first in Math Division II. Jody Berry placed first in Science Division II.
Student Julia Evertsy placed second in Poetry.
Katelyn York placed third in Photography, and Thomas Hoggard placed third in Social Studies Division II.
“There’s an informal competitive trophy at the state level. It goes to the most successful club each year. This was the first year that our club has ever received that trophy. Our students were so thrilled,” explained Smalley. “We typically take about 25 to 30 students to the State Convention, and compete against much larger schools. Some schools have over a hundred students in the convention. You earn credits for how many are present and those participating. We try to have students participate in every category, but sometimes we can’t due to our size. So for the students to win, it was really special.”
The students will go on to compete in the National Convention which will be held June 23-26 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in Louisiana.
In order to raise the funds for the travel costs and lodging, the students will be hosting a car wash, Wednesday June 15 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Tim Horton’s parking lot, weather permitting.
“My husband Richard and I advise this club and we have these students in class. They are absolutely the cream of the crop. They are the best students. Not just academically, but sincerely they’re giving students. They care and give for others, and they have all their proprieties in line,” said Smalley.
If you would like to make a donation, please make checks payable to West High School Beta Club and send to the High School at 15332 US-52, West Portsmouth, OH 45663.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext 1932, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times” or Twitter @PDT_Ciara