Local News: RI Shines at Junior & Senior Beta Convention (1/29/22)


Poplar Bluff Middle School students (left to right) Camden Donnell, Addy Yarbro, Bridget Popp and Clint Wallace placed first in the Elementary Quiz Bowl – Oral Contest at the 19th Annual Junior Beta Convention held in December in Springfield.

The Poplar Bluff School District qualified nationally in a total of 16 competitions at recent State Beta conventions which were attended by 113 RI students.

Piper Duncan of Poplar Bluff High School placed first in Division II site drawing; Kylie Darnell placed second in Division II Digital Art; Dean Hester placed third in ninth grade math; and Adeeti Mishra placed fifth in twelfth-grade math at the Missouri Senior Beta Convention held last month in Springfield.

Additionally, Emma Papanicolaou won a Golden Ticket during the Solo Talent dance routine, further qualifying to perform at the National Beta Convention Opening Ceremony slated for July in Nashville. For the first time, PBHS also had a student running for student organization vice president, according to co-sponsor Stephanie Kuper. “Although we didn’t win, I am incredibly proud of the candidate, Nya Cram, and all of the students who took part in the campaign skit,” Kuper said.

At the Junior Beta Convention, previously held at the Convention Center, Poplar Bluff Middle School’s team of Camden Donnell, Bridget Popp, Clint Wallace and Addy Yarbro placed first in the Elementary Quiz Bowl – Oral, as well as second in writing; Mason Howell of Lake Road placed second in elementary speech; Junior High’s Jackson Kennedy placed second in seventh-grade science; Tenley Moss placed second in Elementary Performing Arts – Solo; The college’s Christian Acevedo placed third in fifth-grade science; Lake Road’s Alex Gholson placed fourth in sixth grade math; The college’s Connor Haywood placed fourth in sixth-grade science; Lake Road’s Nakayla Randolph placed fourth in Elementary Creative Writing; Middle school’s Ella Rushin placed fourth in elementary black-and-white photography; Emmalynn Dennis from middle school placed fifth in elementary painting; and Molly Murphy from middle school placed fifth in elementary drawing.

Each of the top five students, along with a handful of Golden Ticket winners, are eligible to compete on the national stage this summer. Lake Road co-sponsor Kasi Aldridge noted that the elementary school Quiz Bowl team placed in the top eight, and she’s “incredibly proud” of their “flexibility” in navigating the the hybrid event of virtual and in-person competition, considering it was just their second convention.


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