Bernheim Middle School students Emma Maddox (eighth grade) and Virginia Boyle, Marissa Johns and Leah Johnson (seventh grade) earned honors at the Kentucky Jr. Beta Club convention last month in Lexington.
Emma’s self-portrait garnered First Place in painting while Virginia, Marisa and Leah placed second in the Book Battle. They were among 38 Bernheim students with 7,000 other youth at the convention.
“I was actually surprised at winning because there were so many good works of art,” Emma said. “It may have been this was the only human drawing and the rest were animals and landscapes.”
Emma had pictures taken of her head and shoulders. She chose paint a self-portrait with her eyes closed. The soft blue tint is against a bright orange background.
She was awarded a First Place ribbon for her work and now prepares for nationals this summer at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
“I do not have high expectations on doing well at nationals but I do have high hopes,” Emma said.
The Book Battle competition is a literature driven written test that consists of multiple choice questions and a written portion based on a provided list of books. This year the team had to read 12 books.
Virginia, Marissa and Leah studied hard and worked together to absorb as much knowledge as possible.
“We split up the list of books so that as a team we had read all twelve,” said Leah. “Some of the books we already owned or had already read, so we divided them up based on that. I did not think we would place in the top three because we were competing against some schools that are known for their academic strength. I was surprised that we placed second.”
Seventh grade science teacher Ashley Schell co-sponsors the Jr. Beta Club with assistant Principal Jennifer Harrison.
Schell said the students represented Bernheim and the district very well by participating in many academic and leadership contests.
“In addition to participating in these contests, our students helped set up and organize the Visual Arts contest,” she said. “They worked tirelessly to ensure that all of the entries were set up in the correct area and were displayed properly. I am extremely proud of all of these students.”