Two national first place awards came home with Elkin Elementary School Jr. Beta Club members following this summer’s national convention.
Between a $1,000 allocation from the Elkin City Schools Board of Education and several other donations from school and community members, none of the 17 Jr. Beta members going to nationals had to pay for the hotel room or registration, said Julie Reed, one of two advisors for Jr. Beta. Tammy Coley co-advises the Jr. Beta Club.
“We took 17 members to national convention, and they represented Elkin City Schools really, really good,” she said.
Kali Cook entered a black-and-white photograph in the contest of her great-grandfather at a church and placed first in the nation for her photograph. She received a personalized plaque from Jr. Beta national for winning first place.
Also taking first place in the nation was Elkin’s Jr. Beta quiz bowl team. “In order to compete in nationals, you have to take a test and be in the top eight to make it to the oral rounds,” Reed said. “Elkin placed seventh, and at nationals in order to keep advancing, you have to win the rounds, and Elkin won three oral rounds.”
The team, made up of Brady Reed, Hollyann Caudle, Alla Summers and Maggie Sebastian, were coached by Shawna Poindexter. A video of the team being announced as the national champions was shown during Monday’s meeting.
Three students also had top 10 finishes in their competitions during the national convention and were recognized Monday night. Lucas Keller, who was unable to be at the meeting, placed seventh for his entry.
Sebastian did a handmade pillow for the fabric arts competition and placed third in the state and 10th in the nation for her work. Joshua Couch entered a sketch of a shark in its habitat complete with jellyfish and tuna and placed second in the state and seventh at nationals.
Caudle, a fifth-grader, also was recognized later by EES Principal Pam Colbert during the meeting for her high scores on the PSAT as part of the Duke University TIP program. “Hollyann participated in the Duke TIP program, which invites students in elementary to participate in taking the SAT and Pre-SAT, and when Hollyann took the test this past year she scored in the top 95 percent nationally, which will allow her to be recognized at Duke in a ceremony that they’ll do,” Colbert said.
“We’re very proud of her,” she said.
Also recognized by Colbert was Emma Golden, a rising sixth-grader, for being chosen to participate during the summer in the Jr. National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C.
At the middle-school level, Karen Spencer, a teacher at Elkin Middle School, recognized her Beta Club officers — Chandler Beals, Margaret Freeman, Laura Couch and Matthew Pelkey — for placing seventh in the nation for a “Lead Outside the Box” competition. The leaders get a real-world scenario and have until the next day to come up with a solution.
“They qualified for nationals in Savannah (Georgia) at the regional summit,” Spencer said of a regional leadership summit held in Concord.
The team got their problem at noon and worked several hours researching and coming up with a solution, Spencer said. The team’s national scenario addressed how they as students would have to move schools after a parent meeting and how they would handle it if they didn’t want to move schools.
Earlier in the meeting, Dr. Myra Cox, superintendent, honored Jennifer Hall, a first-grade teacher at Elkin Elementary School, for being chosen to participate in the High Point University Leadership Academy.
“There are approximately 13 partnering school districts. From Elkin, the academy sought one interested and highly qualified candidate, and it is my pleasure to announce that Mrs. Jennifer Hall applied, she passed through a rigorous assessment at High Point University and was officially accepted into the program,” Cox said. “She will complete course work toward a master’s degree in school administration in this upcoming school year while she continues to work full-time for the Elkin City Schools, and will then completed a paid internship with Elkin City Schools on one of our three school campuses next fall, 2019.”
Prior to teaching first grade, Hall has taught second grade and has been a reading instructor at Surry Community College. Cox said she also has served as an in-class trainer, an efficient readers trainer, a grade-level chair, a supervising teacher, a mentor and master of literacy trainer.
Hall holds an associate’s degree from SCC, a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University, a reading certificate from Salem College and is National Board Certified, Cox said.
Also, during Monday’s meeting, three new teachers were introduced to the school board, two of which graduated from Elkin High School.
Elkin Middle School Principal Amanda Burton recognized Tyler Robbins, who is an Elkin High School graduate and one of her former students. Robbins will be teaching eighth-grade science at the middle school.
Burton also introduced Laurie Stinson, who was a facilitator in the alternative learning program last year. This year, Stinson will be serving as a student health assistant.
At Elkin High School, Principal Joel Hoyle announced the hiring of 2014 Elkin graduate Kaley Cornelison as an assistant in the physical education department.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.