Tunstall Beta succeeds at virtual state convention

Tiffany McCune

This years VA State Beta Convention was held virtually. On Thursday, March 18 National BETA released the results through a Vimeo video. Tunstall High School competed in 67 individual, team, and club competitions this year and placed in 42 of those events, 16 of those 42 were VA State BETA champions. Jennifer Watson and Tara Mills are the Tunstall sponsors. 

In prior years, Beta members who compete in state convention packed up and competed in the convention center in Hampton. This year things were much different than before because the Beta Convention was fully virtually due to Covid.

“Usually we are in person in Hampton at the Convention Center where tests are taken onsite and art work is judged on site. Presentations are done in front of judges and performances are one take shots. Doing this virtually has the advantage of allowing us to not be so caught up in one performance, but to take our time and make the best presentation possible,” Mrs. Mills said.

Students came together in order to make this year’s virtual beta convention possible. 

“Other students took academic tests at home (or they could come to school and take them). We did two competitions over Google meets where they answered questions as a group and we imputed answers on the website. There were a lot of group texts and sharing of Google documents to get scripts written and figure out what we wanted to do,” Mrs. Mills said.

Although, this year’s Beta Convention wasn’t a “normal” one, it allowed students to explore and become more creative throughout quarantine.

“With more time to plan and practice and the communications we had with our BETAs, we found different ideas talked about how to implement them. I think we had a lot more inspiration this time,” Mrs. Mills said.

After all of the Beta members and sponsors hard work, they were finally able to submit their work between February 4-28th. Student got their results back and the result were very good for THS. 

There were 16 champions from THS in different categories, some are listed as follows: Club Trading Pin, Marketing and Communications, Character Performance, Service Learning Showcase, etc. However, there were some categories that weren’t available due to Covid this year listed as follows: Living Literature, Engineering, and Robotics.

A lot of students participated in more than one category, such as sophomore Kenzie Harris. “I competed in 5 events (Campaign Skit, Marketing and Communications, Black and White Photography Division I, Fiber Arts Division I, and Agriscience Division I. I am most proud of my Fiber Arts submission because I invested a lot of time into it,” Harris said.

Although, students enjoyed the virtual Beta competition, they still missed going in person. “I miss actually going to the convention and being with my peers making memories. Last year was so much fun because we could hangout with each other and talk to the other schools. It made it more competitive,” Harris said.

“They had fun filming and planning, it has been as close to normal as anything this year,” Mrs. Mills said.

Club Trading Pin- Champion


Freshmen Problem Solving 2nd (Bobbie French, Carlie Marshall, Logan McGuire)


Marketing and Communications Champions (Taylor Dodson, Mackenzie Harris, Dallas Younger)


Apparel Design- 2nd


Character Performance-Champions (Derek Dallas, Taylor Dodson, Braeden Barber, Jackson Boles)


Service Learning Showcase- Champions (Leara Slatterly, Charles Nickens III)


Three Dimensional Design- Champion (Luke Mills)


Two Dimensional Design- 2nd (Brandon Harris and Addyson Hunsicker)


Campaign Skit- Champion (Zach Payne, Braeden Barber, Derek Dallas, Brandon Harris, Chaz Nickens, Taylor Dodson, Dallas Younger, Addyson Hunsicker, Mackenzie Harris)


Best of Show Division II (11-12) Visual Arts- Brandon Harris


Agriscience 10th- Mackenzie Harris 2nd


Agriscience 12th- Derek Dallas 3rd

Black and White Photography Div 1-Mackenzie Harris 3rd

Drawing Div II- Brandon Harris Champion

Fiber Arts Div I- Mackenzie Harris 2nd


Fiber Arts Div II- Elizabeth Lee 3rd


Jewelry Div I- Addyson Hunsicker 2nd


Language Arts 10th- Emma Dowdy Champion


Language Arts 12th- Miranda Cochran 3rd


Math 9th- Carlie Marshall 2nd


Math 10th- Zachary Payne 3rd


Math 11th- Landon Jones 3rd


Math 12th Cameran Marshall 3rd


Mixed Media Div I- Emma Dowdy 2nd


Mixed Media Div II- Tatalia Preston 3rd


Onsite Drawing Div 1-Emma Dowdy Champion


Onsite Painting Div I- Addyson Hunsicker 2nd


Painting Div I- Emma Dowdy Champion


Poetry Division I- Leara Slattery 2nd


Recycled Art Div I- Addyson Hunsicker Champion


Science 10th grade- Dallas Younger 3rd


Science 9th grade- Logan McGuire Champion


Sculpture Div I- Emma Dowdy Champion


Sculpture Div II- Jackson Boles 2nd


Social Studies 10th- Luke Mills Champion


Social Studies 12th- Jackson Kime Champion


Spanish 10th- Braeden Barber 2nd


Speech Div 1- Taylor Dodson 2nd


Speech Div 2- Derek Dallas 2nd


Woodworking Div I- Luke Mills Champion


Woodworking Div II- Jack Donahue 2nd