Katelyn Sanders
Katelyn Sanders
Neshoba Central Middle School student Katelyn Sanders captured a first place award during Mississippi’s virtual Junior Beta Club Convention with her speech: “Seeing Clearly With Beta.”

The convention was scheduled for March 17 to March 19 in Biloxi, but was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Sanders, one of 11 Neshoba students receiving awards, told judges that seeing clearly with Beta has become standard for her future success. 

Other Neshoba Middle School winners were:

Fiber Arts: Maggie Bradley, second place.

Language Arts Eighth Grade: Graciana Alexander, fourth place.

Painting: Presley Bryd, third place.

Recyclable Art: Presley Bryd, first place.

Sculpture:  Maquayla Shoffner, first place.

Service Learning Showcase (group): third place.

Social Studies Sixth Grade: Bailee Ridout, second place.

Social Studies Seventh Grade: Barrett Knight, first place.

Speech: Katelyn Sanders: first place.

Woodworking: Garrett Norton: fifth place.

Club Trading Pin: fifth place.

The theme of this year’s convention was “Beta As Far As You Can See!”



Quoting author and Zen teacher Cheri Huber at times, Sanders told judges in her speech that “an essential part of seeing clearly is finding the willingness to look closely and go beyond our own ideas.” 

She noted that when Beta members collaborate, “there are boundless possibilities. Beta helps us to see clearly through several mediums such as community service, its required academic achievement and Betas leading with care in everything we do.”

Sanders, also, spoke about character.

“Being a member of Beta has allowed me to clearly see that upholding good character helps set the standard for others to work toward,” Sanders said. 

Middle School Beta sponsor Tammy Burk was very excited about her winners.

“We can enter each of these at the national convention online,” she said.

Burk, who teachers Cyber Foundations I and II at Neshoba, said she wanted her students to be able to compete in the state convention even if they had to do most of it virtually.

“I had to take pictures of all the visual arts,” she said. “Sanders’ speech was videoed.”

Students doing the academic competitions were given a link to take the necessary tests.

The club’s service learning showcase consisted of their projects over the past year including working with Diamond Dreams, Adopt-a-Grandparent, Operation Christmas Child and a fall festival for special needs children.