Southampton student named Junior Beta Club State President

Published 12:54 pm Saturday, March 14, 2015

Of the nearly 3,000 middle school students eligible, Southampton Middle School student Logan Johnson was elected State President of the National Junior Beta Club at this year’s state convention. The convention was at the Hampton Roads Convention Center on Feb. 23-24.

The seventh-grader — who also plays baseball — believes that his good grades and trying his hardest in all of his classes are what made him perfect for the Beta Club. He received his official invitation to join the club in March 2014, one year after Southampton started its chapter.

“It took off from there,” Johnson said.

Logan Johnson, a seventh grader at Southampton Middle School, was elected as the state’s Junior Beta Club president. He is seeking to be elected as the club’s national president. -- SUBMITTED

Logan Johnson, a seventh grader at Southampton Middle School, was elected as the state’s Junior Beta Club president. He is seeking to be elected as the club’s national president. — SUBMITTED

On average, Johnson spends about an hour and a half of his day attending to matters and thinking about activities for the club, and another hour each week in meetings. All of that hard work paid off for Johnson, when he was named state president at last month’s convention.

According to his advisor Tersa Meredith, head of the Southampton Beta Club, Johnson was required to fill out an additional application and prepare a campaign skit to be eligible for the presidency. He also had to answer an impromptu question that he pulled out of a box in front of the judges, who then voted on the winner.

Johnson recalled his question, asking which of the four pillars that the Beta Club was founded on is the most important? “Leadership, because we need to teach others to want to achieve more and be a better person,” he said.

Johnson, who thanks his father and teachers for instilling the drive to be the best he can be, knows that his presidency will pay dividends down the road.

“I knew it would be a great learning opportunity and it will look good in the future on college applications,” he said.

With his victory, Johnson now has an opportunity to be named national president at the national convention later this year. Humbly, he believes he has a shot at winning that race as well.

“I know that no matter what, I will do well and be proud of myself,” he said. “I have confidence in myself that I have a chance a becoming the national president.”

As with any office in the Beta Club, Johnson can only serve one term as state president. He’s not worried about next year’s club, though.

“Hopefully, I could run and become president at the high school, but otherwise, I’m focused on the near future and becoming president at the national level,” he said.

After high school, Johnson hopes to attend college and become an engineer.

The National Beta Club is a youth organization that is based on forming role models through achievement, character, leadership and service. Formed in 1934, it has helped nearly 7 million fourth-grade through 12th-grade students learn how to make a life for themselves. Since 1991, the club has awarded more than $5 million in scholarships to elementary and secondary school students.

Students involved in Beta Club at Southampton Schools are required to maintain at least a 3.2 grade point average and a behavioral record that reflects the morals of the club. They are also required to perform at least 10 hours of community service. The school offers several opportunities to fill those hours, which includes hosting toy and coat drives, volunteering at the food pantry and taking carnations to the nursing home on Valentine’s Day.

Southampton sent 23 Beta Club members to the state convention, and brought home three additional awards.

Kalhiah Ross placed third in Poetry and Brianna Whitmore placed third in Art, while the entire Southampton Junior Beta Club produced a first-place finish in Skits.

“All of our attending members did a superb job in their competing areas,” said Susan Melbye, assistant principal at Southampton Middle School via a press release. “Because of their diligence, resilience and hard work we were victorious.”

Thanks to their respective finishes, the students will travel to Nashville, Tennessee, to compete in the National Junior Beta Competition on June 25-29.