You BETA Hear About States

On January 28, 2023, Apopka Beta students went to the annual state convention. The winners of these state events go on to compete on a national level. Activities ranged from academic contests to quiz bowls to talent competitions. The Blue and White met with the Beta Club sponsor Ms. Hough and many of the talented students who placed and are on track to Beta Nationals.


Ms. Hough—Club Sponsor

[The number of students that will be progressing to Beta Nationals] is exciting. I wish I had more going. We’re probably only going to take about 50, but that’s due to time and money. Some kids are going to be in college. I wish everybody would come, but we’re still going to have a nice showing.

We are starting a vertical raise, snap raise, or one of those soon. We’re selling chocolate. I need some kids to reach out and get some sponsors from businesses as well. That’s something we need to work on.

Are there any areas in the competition that you thought you could do better in? 

Yes, academics surprisingly. Usually, we do pretty well in the academic category. We cleaned up in the French category with a winner in every single division, but French was the only one. We usually have some math. Part of it was the new platform. It was online. I feel like something wasn’t quite right about that. We also had a really good scrapbook. We got second place, as opposed to first. The school that always gets first, got first. Their scrapbook is really big, but it isn’t better than ours. They said they couldn’t find our theme when it was literally a comic book.

My most memorable moment was when Group Talent performed. They performed a Michael Jackson mix-up. We did it the first time, and it was really good. Then, we advanced and now we were shooting for the top three. It was just so exciting to watch. They all gave it their all and ended up getting first place. The crowd loved it. Seeing how moved they were was the most exciting moment.

Do you have any advice for future Beta students that would want to compete in future conventions?

They just need to be very vocal because we have so many kids. Sometimes, if you’re not vocal to me or to the sponsors you get lost. So when we go to pick who’s going to do what, you have to be in my face. Like “I’m really good at this” or “I won this in middle school” or “Remember Ms. Hough, last year I placed in this” because I’m also getting old and my memory is fading a little bit. If you’re really passionate about it, you have to be vocal about it when we start picking who’s doing what. That’s my advice.


Now let’s showcase a few of the many who placed for Beta Nationals.


Brennan Walsh—1st Woodworking—10th grade

I have been doing woodworking for almost my entire life with my family. I competed in woodworking, where you build or create some form of art out of wood. I won 1st place. I started working on my project over Christmas break. First, I had to find a plan of what I wanted to build, then I got the materials and just started building. I do not plan on changing anything for Beta Nationals.


Heidi Cruz—2nd Pottery—12th grade

I play club soccer and participate in the Beta Club. I competed in pottery for division 2. I got 2nd place. [For pottery] it has to be made out of clay, basically, anything in the ceramics room that you can make, and either made by hand or on the wheel. You can make anything as big or small as you want it. 

 I had been trying to get my bowls perfected on the wheel, so when I finally did get one pretty good I thought, “This would be a great project to submit for Beta Club.” Then, I glazed it and got it submitted. You have to practice it first on the wheel. You can’t just make it one go unless you already know what you’re doing. You get a ball of clay and throw it on the wheel. Then you get your hands really wet with water and try to shape them as best as you can. When you get the shape you like, you start making the little minor details on it. I’m not sure if we’re allowed to [change anything,] but I think I’m going to submit the bowl that I already submitted. I’m excited about Beta Nationals, but I don’t know if I’m going to go. It’s far and expensive.


Jordyn McMaster—3rd Fiber Arts—10th grade

I got my inspiration for my piece from where the National Beta Convention is going to be held; Kentucky. I made it a horse because of the Kentucky Derby. I did the roses because the winner of the Kentucky Derby gets a blanket of roses. I also ride horses, so there’s a special place in my heart for it. I placed 3rd, I was very happy when I saw that I won. There were so many good pieces there and very few competitors. I think I had a good chance of winning. To make my piece I sketched the background and ironed it on the cloth to later stitch the fabric in. Then I did my roses and leaves separately with a stencil and a cricket machine. Afterward, I placed it on a red poster board with velcro. Which made it easy to disassemble as we traveled to states. I can’t change anything with my piece for Beta Nationals, but I would like to put a little bit more in-detail description of why I did what I did on the entry slip. I feel like what I had for states was bland or simple. I would like to make a book of pictures showing the steps because I put a lot of work into it and I had so much help. I am so excited about Beta Nationals. I actually sent a text to my family saying, “Who wants to go to Kentucky!” and they were like, “We’ll get a bus.” So excited.


Anjani Worrell—3rd Solo, Duo, Trio Performance—11th grade

I am a Bollywood dancer, and I aspire to be an oncologist. I competed in Performing Arts Solo Duo Trio. I did a Bollywood dance and got 3rd place. To prepare for this competition I mainly rehearsed the dance over winter break and every time I could to perfect it. I had to choose the outfit too. We bought the outfit online from an Indian clothing store. Something I would like to change for Nationals is my confidence in the dance. Seeing all those people for the first time was really nerve-wracking. I feel like if I had more confidence in myself I would have probably been able to pull out stronger. Also, I will rehearse with the skirt more since I kept tripping over it too. I am excited about Beta Nationals and hope to see what the other schools have in store. Also, the other soloists, duos, and trios.


Madelyn Becker—1st Show Choir—9th grade

My hobby is singing and I’m in 9th grade so this was my first beta competition. My first impression was that it was fun getting to see everybody compete and being in that kind of environment. I did Show Choir for the Beta Club. Show Choir is a group of people singing a musical theater song with dancing. We did a medley of a Hairspray song and a pop. I liked our song choice, I think we did a good job. We got first place. I don’t plan to go to Beta Nationals since it’s far away and it’s kind of expensive even though we’re doing fundraising. I would if I could. I also have a family reunion.

Augustina Peasah—1st Show Choir—9th grade

I came here in August with my oldest sister; she is a junior here. I am 15 years old, and I do monthly photo shoots with my friends. I competed in Show Choir. It’s my first year in chorus, and I thought, “Well if I’m going to be in Beta and there’s an option for show choir at Convention I might as well go because it’s a challenge. When we got first place, I was so excited because we thought we weren’t going to make it because the other teams were amazing. We were so excited. I plan to go to Beta Nationals. In Kentucky, I expect to see a lot of different schools and lots of different talents. My first impression of Beta States was that it was very big with lots of schools. The hotel looked amazing. I liked how everybody was socializing and communicating with each other. I made a lot of friends. It was very organized, I would say in some aspects more than others. It was really good.