January 30- February 1, 2019
Texas Beta State Convention
Students Earn Top Marks at Beta State Convention

Our Beta Club participated in the National Junior Beta Club Texas State Convention on January 31-February 1 in Grapevine at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. Ninety of our 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Beta Club members represented St. George at the convention. We were one of 54 schools from across Texas to attend the state convention which hosted 2,016 Beta delegates.  Throughout the two-day convention, there were numerous talent, art, and academic competitions, including the elections for next year's Beta Club state officers. Many of our students competed in these contests, and we are very proud of them. We are pleased to share our results with you:
State Chaplain
Tomas Espejo (8th Grade) - After being elected chaplain at last year's state convention, Tomas was on stage for much of the convention sessions.  In the opening convocation, Tomas delivered a motivational speech to the crowd about how small acts of kindness (like inviting a classmate who doesn't seem to have a group into your group to work together) can create a powerful result.  Tomas was a very impressive student leader on stage.
State Office
Ramiro Cavazos (7th Grade) - Ran for State President - Ramiro confidently delivered a dynamic and well-written campaign speech in front of thousands of audience members about how we can all be heroes.  His campaign slogan was "Be a Hero with Ramiro." Ramiro emphasized, though, that we can't be heroes like Spiderman or Superman, but everyday actions such as taking care of the needy and being a kind friend can elevate us to true-life heroes.  He focused on reminding the crowd that actual heroes do not just "follow the pack." Ramiro's powerful speech was very well received by the crowd.  He also articulately answered a live question while on stage with maturity and poise.  Our entire club rallied behind our strong president candidate and went out into the crowd of Beta voters to campaign on behalf of Ramiro, and he was elected State President! 

Campaign Skit 
A large group of our Beta Club members sang and danced their hearts out to a version of Bonnie Tyler's 80's song "Holding Out for a Hero" trying to convince the delegates to vote for Ramiro.  Our students commanded the stage!  The audience and judges loved it, and our campaign skit captured 1st Place!
Group Talent
This competition has to have 4 or more students performing together, which St. George did! Our very large group of middle schoolers did a next-to-impossible task of telling the Mary Poppins story in 6 minutes. They sang and danced their ways into the judges' hearts and consequently won 1st Place, the third consecutive year that St. George has won this competition. A council member (the local governing board of the Texas Beta Club) remarked that our performance "was in a league all by itself." We are so appreciative of our singers and dancers for their talent and commitment.
Living Literature
In this demanding contest, students portray characters from a piece of literature. The true challenge, however, is that the characters have to stand "frozen" while the judges evaluate the scene and the students' ability to "be mannequins." St. George depicted the scene from Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach where James has just entered the enormous magical peach and sees the mesmerizing creatures who eventually befriend him. 

In the meantime, James' two eccentric aunts stand outside the peach trying to capitalize on this unusual enormous peach by selling tickets to tour inside. Our "mannequin" actors were Erik Barrera, Kacie Garza, Carolyn King, Nasha Lampe, AJ Liang, Lily Parker, Sammy Salter, Ashley Sutherland, and Martha Toursarkissian. Our team of "mannequins" was awarded 4th Place!
Visual Arts
Sculpture - 8th Grader Sophia Oliveira won the 2nd Place ribbon in this category for her geometric sculpture entitled "Blooming City." Sophia used card stock to create a "cool" geometric origami sculpture.

Woodworking -
Daniel Fernandez-Morales (8th Grader) created an amazing wooden clock which operates with gears, a weight, and a motor. This hand-made clock is gorgeous and won 2nd Place!


Photography -
8th Grader Sofia Perez-Gomez's close-up color photograph of her horse Leroy smiling as water splashed on his face won 1st Place! We challenge you to look at this engaging photo of Leroy without smiling yourself.

Painting - 
Jessica Cromer (8th Grade) painted with acrylics on canvas to create a piece entitled "Oliver Tufts," which is a close-up of a lynx with a forest background. This amazing artwork by Jessica not only captured 1st Place in the Painting category, but it was also awarded "Best in Show." It truly is a gorgeous masterpiece!

We hope to soon display these outstanding, award-winning pieces of art in the Leadership Center so that everyone can see our students' notable artistic talents. 
Written Tests
Language Arts - Kendall Mikolajczyk (7th Grade) won 2nd Place in the written Language Arts 7 test, while 6th Grader Emersyn Landrum won 1st in the 6th Grade written test category. No doubt that our Language Arts Department prepares our students well!

Math - Kaia Pham (8th Grade) scored well enough to win 4th Place in the written Math 8 test. Way to go!

Poetry - 8th Grader Sarah Taylor won 1st Place with her poem which had to address the writing prompt of "Locked in a Museum Overnight." Sarah chose free verse to create the museum as a metaphor for historical events like the Civil War, World War I, and our current political disputes. Impressive (and the judges obviously agreed)!
Book Battle
Our team of Megan Liu (7th Grade), Benicio Martinez (7th Grade), Sammy Salter (8th Grade), and Sofia Pina-Cervantes (7th Grade) read a list of 12 required books. They worked together for months discussing the assigned pieces of literature. After collectively taking a written test at the convention, this dedicated team of readers captured 1st Place! 
6th Grader Gaige Lipscomb, 7th Graders Lindsay Blanton, Ramiro Cavazos, Rudy Davila, Eric Draeger, Nicholas Fritz, Xander King, Jackson Pipes, Krish Puri, and 8th Graders Elise Bostian, Carolyn King, Bradley Landrum, AJ Liang, and George Welch were a team who used technology to showcase the assigned theme of "The Future Starts with Beta." Their technology project used the Back to the Future movie to encourage recycling. Our creative technology team captured 2nd Place!

Marketing & Communications
The team of Venkaya Dutta, Kacie Garza, Lauren Lacroix, Helen Trottmann (6th Grade), Will Castellano (7th Grade), and AJ Liang (8th Grade) created a program to prepare incoming 6th Graders to the SG Middle School. Their program was called MMS (Mentoring for Middle Schoolers). The group's intent was to cover the entire scope of what a rising 6th Grader could encounter during his/her transition to our middle school, including details like how to open a combination lock, teachers' expectations, and what to wear to our middle school dances. This team with their mentoring spirit was awarded 4th Place!
3-Dimensional Design
Brooklyn Bowling, Izabella Gutierrez, Lauren Lacroix, and Sadie Salter (6th Graders) accepted the challenge to create a 3-D display within certain perimeters which reflected the convention's theme of "Beta Fueling the Future." Our team designed a planter box with its contents representing foundation, roots, growth, life, ideas, emotions, light, and knowledge. That which blossoms from the contents in the box are leaders who achieve, show character, have faith, and serve others. Our innovative, creative project was awarded 4th Place.

A hard-working team of Bradley Landrum (8th Grade), 7th Graders Berkleigh Bowling, Eric Draeger, Nicholas Fritz, Xander King, Jackson Pipes, and 6th Grader Brooklyn Bowling practiced for weeks in advance to build the highest tower possible within 45 minutes with limited building materials. The tower also had to sustain the weight of a baseball at its peak. Our team chose to use cardboard tubes, craft sticks, duct tape, straws, and string. Our SG engineers captured 5th Place in this demanding competition.
Service Learning Showcase
Elise Bostian (8th Grade), Will Castellano (7th Grade), and Press Engelland (6th Grade) worked together to create a display that spotlighted our Christmas Adopt-A-Needy-Family project.  Their Candyland-themed backboard highlighted the program's steps from start to finish with bullet statements, pictures, and lots of Christmas bling!  Our project illustrated our entire school's commitment to our San Antonio community and how we fuel philanthropy for the future.  We are proud that our Service Learning Showcase entry received 5th Place in this competition.
Premier Performers
Judges were stationed out in the audience to watch all the talent performances and to select performers who were outstanding on stage and who really commanded attention in a positive way while performing.  Four St. George Beta members were chosen as Premier Performers: 6th Graders Bennett Kiehne and Viviane Notzon, 7th Grader Briggs Blume and 8th Grader Macie Lin.  These 4 middle schoolers now have the opportunity to perform in the opening ceremony as well as another act at the National Convention in June. Wow!
Texas Jr. State Sponsor
Congratulations to Keith Earle for his new role as Texas Jr. State Sponsor for the next 2 years!
Congratulations! All of these students who placed 1st-3rd in their state contests are now eligible to compete at the National Junior Beta Club Convention, held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in June.  We are very proud of all of our Beta Club members! Attending this year's state convention was a wonderfully positive experience. St. George Episcopal School certainly made its mark!
Last minute touch-ups.
Just hanging out at BetaCon.
Recycled Art Eye
No rest for the weary at Beta, Mr. Devlin!
Ready for Campaign Skit!
Our roadies! Couldn't do it without you!
If you have some news and/or celebrations to share, please email Jessica Leibowitz at jleibowitz@saintgeorgeschool.org.