NKES & NKMS Beta Members Place Nationally

NKES & NKMS Beta Members Place Nationally
Posted on 06/26/2023
Graphic that states CONGRATS!

NKES and NKMS Beta Members Place in National Competition

Over the last few months, National Beta members from New Kent Elementary School and New Kent Middle School have been working hard to prepare their entries for the National Beta Convention. In June, they were able to celebrate that hard work with three NKES students placing in the following competitions: Colton Simmons with third place in fourth grade social studies, Ethan Shannon with sixth place in fifth grade social studies, and Harrison Rodgers with 10th place in fifth grade math. NKMS students also placed with Jeremiah Martin earning second place in the sixth grade science competition and the NKMS Junior Beta Club project proposal team of Lily Newman (eighth grade), Skylar Weedon (eighth grade), Aubrey Loucks (seventh grade), Alyssa Luntzer (seventh grade), and Martin (sixth grade) taking fourth place.

portrait of student Jeremiah Martin posing with his Beta trophy
Jeremiah Martin poses with his second place trophy at the National Beta Convention.

The club members originally competed and received awards during their State Convention held in February. Their victories at the state level provided them the opportunity to compete at the National Convention, held in Louisville, KY. Over 5,000 Elementary Beta (grades 4-5) and 8,000 Junior Beta (grades 6-8) students were able to represent their schools this summer.

portrait of Colton Simmons posing with his Beta trophy
Colton Simmons displays his third place trophy at the convention in Louisville, KY.

The NKES Junior Beta Club allows fourth and fifth grade students a unique opportunity to extend their learning and explore their interests beyond the classroom. Since its inception in 2017, the club has enrolled nearly 200 students and won over 70 state and national awards. These students serve as role models in their school and community by exemplifying the guiding premise of the National Beta Club to “lead by serving others.” Students in the NKES Junior Beta Club routinely volunteer at school events, in local churches and neighborhoods, and for other organizations such as assisted living facilities and animal shelters. They are also instrumental in running the Otter Power Pack Program—a schoolwide initiative to combat food insecurity within their school.

“It has been one of the highlights of my teaching career to be the NKES Junior Beta sponsor and build lasting relationships with so many students and their families,” stated Ms. Andrea Simmons, who co-sponsors the elementary group with Ms. Kimberly Beasley. “I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to instill the idea of servant leadership in these students and to witness them becoming good citizens within our community.”

members of the NKES Junior Beta Club pose with co-sponsor Andrea Simmons
Members of the NKES Junior Beta Club pose with co-sponsor Ms. Simmons at the convention.

The NKMS Junior Beta Club had nearly 70 members in the 2022-2023 school year, some who competed in everything from academic tests to visual and performing arts. Additionally, every active member was involved in planning service projects within the community, such as charity car washes and clothing drives. The club also partnered each month with the Free Little Pantry of New Kent. “Beta club members live by the motto, ‘Let us lead by serving others,’ and we focus on having the highest levels of academics, character, service, and leadership,” stated Ms. Jamie Collins, the NKMS Junior Beta Club sponsor and a gifted resource teacher at NKMS. “Hopefully being a member of this club builds a skill-set in our middle schoolers that will help them succeed in whatever they want to do in their futures.”

The NKMS Junior Beta Club project proposal team poses with large letters spelling BETA
The NKMS Junior Beta Club project proposal team poses with their project at the National Convention.

“I am very grateful I had the opportunity to attend the National Junior Beta Convention as a sponsor this year,” said Ms. Collins. “It’s a special feeling for my students and I to belong to something larger than just our club at New Kent Middle School, and it was cool to see the kids realize that as well. Attending the National Convention sparked an excitement in all of us to do even more with Beta in the years to come!”

With more than 500,000 active members and 8,750 clubs nationally and internationally, National Beta has become the nation’s largest independent, non-profit, educational youth organization. National Beta promotes the ideals of academic achievement, character, service, and leadership among elementary and secondary school students. National Junior Beta includes grades 4-8 and National Senior Beta includes grades 9-12. Visit betaclub.org for more information.