Beta Club shining in return to middle school
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By Don Perry
The McCreary County Middle School Beta Club is back with a vengeance after a six-year hiatus, having one student take first in the state and its Quiz Bowl team bringing home fifth place.
Seventh-grader Andrew Thatcher Daugherty brought home first place hardware in the state of Kentucky for his knowledge of Social Studies and earned a spot in the national event to pace the school’s team.
In addition to Daugherty’s performance, the team of Paul Bruner, Presley Pryor, Kyler Mason, and Robert Hatfield proved to be a very competitive team during the quiz bowl portion of the Beta Club competition and will also be competing in the national contest in June at Louisville.
The strong showing for the Beta Club is made even more impressive since the middle school had not sponsored a club since 2016. Thanks to the efforts of teachers Carrie Jones and co-sponsor Shawnda Lawson, the club is back and running in high gear.
The duo saw the need and jumped right in reopening the club for seventh and eighth graders this year with plans to open the doors to sixth-graders next year.
“I loved Beta when I was in school and I wanted the students to experience the positives I did as a student,” Jones said.
That experience has gone much further than the state competition where the Beta Club was able to compete in many different categories.
In addition to academic-related competitions, the Beta Club is civic-minded when it comes to its community.
So far during this school year, the club members have collected items for the Ronald McDonald House totaling four large trash bags of toiletries, hosted a penny war that raised $245 for the McCreary County Public Library’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library program, and wrote notes of thanks to their teachers and sponsors that have helped them along the way.
In addition to the deeds the club members have already completed, each student is required to complete 10 hours of community service with several already doing so including Beta Club President Paul Bruner who has already collected more than 106 hours.
While they have accomplished a great deal already, the club has plans for more, including a trip to the nursing home to play games and take gifts to the residents. The trip was initially planned for December but postponed until April due to sickness.
While the competitions may seem like the highlights to some, McCreary Middle Beta Club members see it as much more.
“It’s a great opportunity that any kid would be blessed to be offered,” said eighth-grader Kyler Mason.