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Harrells, NC – Harrells Christian Academy’s Elementary and Junior Beta Clubs returned to the North Carolina Junior Beta Convention this year as a large group to compete alongside other amazingly talented Beta Clubs throughout the state. These Betas participated in a multitude of categories ranging from academics and visual arts to performing arts and more.  The NC Junior Beta Convention, held in Greensboro, NC from January 28-30, hosted both Elementary Betas in grades 4-5 and Middle School Betas in grades 6-8. However, this will be the last year that the Elementary and Junior divisions will be combined in one state convention. Next year, NC Beta will split Elementary, Junior, and Senior into three separate conventions to mirror the format of the National Beta Convention. This year’s National Beta theme is Beta: A Voyage of Adventure, and students enjoyed incorporating thematic elements into several of their competition entries.

The HCA Elementary and Jr. Betas participating in the State Convention this year placed in the top 5 in the state of NC in 28 different competitions. They received first place in 13 of those areas. In addition, 5 HCA Betas in grades 4-8 were recognized as Premier Performer vocalists in the talent portion and received golden tickets to perform with a special vocal group at nationals. Harrells Christian Academy is also recognized as a School of Merit.

“I cannot emphasize enough how proud I am of our Elementary Beta members and all of their hard work,” says Jessica James, HCA Elementary Beta Co-Advisor. Ashlynn Haney, who also serves as an HCA Elementary Beta Co-Advisor adds, “I didn’t know how much hard work was needed to put into this club. We are so blessed to have parents that are willing to help out because it definitely takes a village. Their hard work, dedication, and love for these children makes me love my job even more. The Betas have put so much effort into their performances, individual masterpieces, and preparation for academic events, and their awards reflect that.”

HCA Jr. Beta Co-Advisor Allison Brock reflected on one of her most memorable moments from this year’s convention. She explains, “One of the pillars of Beta is character, and the HCA Junior Betas lived it on the first night of the convention when another school was preparing and practicing their campaign skit. Our students stopped what they were doing and joined in with the other school. We cheered for the candidate, danced with their music, and gave high fives to a group of perfect strangers. It made my heart so happy. The sponsor for that club even gave HCA a shout out on social media for their kindness. The awards are great, but the compassion and kindness these children showed means so much!”

HCA Betas know firsthand how exciting and overwhelming having a club member run for a state officer is. HCA fifth grader Matilda Parker ran for an office at last year’s convention and, after student votes from across the state were cast, she was elected as the NC Elementary Beta Vice President for the 2023-2024 year. This year, as a state VP, Matilda showcased her leadership skills by assisting with various activities throughout the NC State Beta Convention, along with other state officers, by announcing competition participants, directing convention winners to their stage location, interviewing 2024-2025 Elementary Vice President candidates, and delivering her farewell speech to a packed ballroom of 5,000 convention attendees.

In addition to the many accolades HCA’s Betas in grades 4-8 earned at this year’s convention, HCA Senior Beta Club advisor Ruth Ann Parker was also honored at the NC Junior Convention by being named the inaugural NC Elementary State Sponsor where she will be responsible for the Elementary convention next year. “I am truly humbled to be asked to work alongside many others that value celebrating the principles of Beta in our nation’s youth,” says Parker.

Harrells Christian Academy is blessed beyond measure to have such dedicated staff and volunteers who appropriate a great deal of time after school and on weekends to supervise and assist students in their preparation for convention or while serving in their local communities. HCA Jr. Beta Co-Advisor Paige Puryear says, “I’d like to thank Mrs. Paula Darden, as she has sacrificed many hours to our Betas.” Allison Brock adds, “I must also give special recognition to Rita McIver and her daughters, Egypt and Atirra. They choreographed all of HCA’s Group Talent.  I include them by name because they are not directly associated with HCA and traveled many times from Fayetteville and back to support these young people. They even drove to the convention! Many HCA parents helped with all of the events though, and countless hours were sacrificed for these children to be the best they could be.”

HCA Elementary and Jr. Betas who made the top 5 in NC earned both a plaque and/or ribbon for their achievement and are eligible to compete at the National Beta Convention this summer in Savannah, GA.

The full list of the 2024 HCA Elementary and Jr. Beta Club winners includes:

Accessorized Design, Elem. Division (3rd Place): Sinia Colville and Piper Thompson

Apparel Design, Jr. Division (2nd Place): Kayleigh Bowen, Emily Campbell, Ellis Dunn, Sarah-John Jackson, Savannah Kate Stevens, Allie Tanner.

Color Photography, Elem. Division (1st Place): Kate Hall

Club Trading Pin, Elem. Division (1st Place): Britton Blanchard, Sinia Colville, John-Ward Farrior, Brooklyn Frederick, Paxton Henderson, Hadley Grace Lassiter, Harper Jane Ludlum, Livie Martin, Charleigh Naylor, Emory Landen Patram, Anna James Rouse, Annell Starling.

Digitally Enhanced Photography, Elem. Division (1st Place): Pearson Johnson

Fiber Arts, Elem. Division (1st Place): John-Ward Farrior

Language Arts, 5th Grade (1st Place): Brooklyn Frederick

Living Literature, Elem. Division (1st Place): Britton Blanchard, Isla Blanton, Sinia Colville, Brooklyn Frederick, John-Ward Farrior, Kaleb Funes, Kate Hall, Hadley Grace Lassiter, Harper Jane Ludlum, Emory Landen Patram, Kenadie Pusey, Anna James Rouse, Anna Belle Smith, Annell Grace Starling, Mary Thomas Williams.

Living Literature, Jr. Division (4th Place): Fisher Blanton, Kayleigh Bowen, Gabriel Bowker, Oakley Brice, Anne Carlyle Brown, Ivey Brown, Emily Campbell, Ben Darden, Ellis Dunn, Kendall Haney, Sarah-John Jackson, Miller Ludlum, Emmie Marlowe, Ava Matthews, Savannah Matthews, Magdalene Parker, Wyatt Price, Nash Register, Marshall Rumbold, Cooper Sasser, Henry Stevens, Savannah Kate Stevens, Allie Tanner, Parker Thompson, Trace Thompson, Brenlee Thornton.

Mixed Media, Elem. Division (3rd Place): Piper Thompson

Performing Arts Elementary – Large Group Talent (1st Place)

Performing Arts Junior – Large Group Talent (1st Place)

Performing Arts Elementary – Solo, Duo, Trio – Instrumentalist (1st Place): Isla Blanton

Pottery, Jr. Division (1st Place): Ivey Brown

Premier Performer – Vocalists: Kaleb Funes, Charleigh Naylor, Ben Darden, Caroline Owens, Anna Williams.

Quilling, Elem. Division (2nd Place): Sinia Colville

Quilling, Jr. Division (2nd Place): Savannah Kate Stevens

Quiz Bowl, Elem. Division (Top 8): Isla Blanton, Sinia Colville, Charleigh Naylor, John-Ward Farrior.

Recyclable Art, Elem. Division (4th Place): Harper Jane Ludlum

Recyclable Art, Jr. Division (5th Place):  Caven Chambers

Robotics Showcase, Elem. Division (2nd Place): Claire Barnhill, Jett Coombs, Kate Hall, Paxton Henderson, Pearson Johnson, Harper Jane Ludlum, Livie Martin.

Robotics Showcase, Jr. Division (1st Place): Fisher Blanton, JC Carr, Caven Chambers, Chance Evans, Brantley Frederick, Miller Ludlum, Sam Martin, Trace Thompson.

Science, 4th Grade (3rd Place): Kate Hall

Scrapbook, Elem. Division (1st Place): Grace Brantley, Sinia Colville, Savvy Phillips, Kate Hall, Taylor Stranz, Cates Sutton, along with contributions from all HCA Elementary Beta Club members.

Social Studies, 4th Grade (3rd Place): Johnson Ivey

Songfest, Jr. Division (1st Place)

Spelling Bee, Elem. Division (3rd Place): Jackson Beasley

Three-Dimensional Design, Jr. Division (2nd Place): Anne Carlyle Brown, Ivey Brown, Kendall Haney, Emmie Marlowe.

Two-Dimensional Design, Elem. Division (3rd Place): Brooklyn Frederick, Hadley Grace Lassiter, Matilda Parker, Emory Landen Patram, Mary Thomas Williams.

Woodworking, Jr. Division (5th Place): Magdalene Parker

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