McCart has Heart, and more potential than one can shake a stick at!

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The LA state board, from left are President Mason McCart of St. Mary’s, Avery Grace Hebert, Secretary, from Erath High School; and Myla Johnson, Vice-President, of Houma Christian School.The National Beta Club is an organization for 4th through 12th grade students in the United States. Its purpose is "to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership and service among elementary and secondary school students.

Juanice Gray | Mason McCart
Mason McCart will be a senior at St. Mary’s High School this August, is the State Beta Club president and the second consecutive National Beta Club president from St. Mary’s behind his predecessor, Anna Kate Jackson.
The Beta Club is a national organization. Officers are chosen from across the country and doesn’t segregate by school or club size.
McCart went to nationals July 1 – 4 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., with five supporters in tow. He and his entourage consisting of his parents, Jon and Carmella McCart, St. Mary’s Beta members Reaves Hogg and Mason Melder, and sponsor Michael Landry launched a campaign that sent Mason to victory.
Carmella said there were schools there boasting supporters nearing 200 members.
So, how does a teen from a Natchitoches school with the entire enrollment compared to other school’s club membership compete?

This article published in the July 30, 2022, print edition. Subscribe to the print or e-edition by calling 318-352-3618.

Although on vacation with his family, Mason took the time to answer our questions:
1. What was the atmosphere at nationals? What you expected? Differ from state?
The atmosphere at nationals was energetic! There was much hype leading up to the convention and it showed! Everyone was just truly excited to be there. The atmosphere was also very comforting in a sense because everyone treats Beta as one big, happy family. This atmosphere was definitely what I was hoping it would be as I was expecting it to be on par with the level of enthusiasm of last year’s national convention. I think that the energy does differ from our state convention in a some minor ways. The stakes are higher at nationals for competitions so it does create a new level of intensity and anticipation for all of the events .
2. Are you holding both offices? State and national?
Yes! In order to run for national office, you must be a state officer. So in addition to my national officer duties, I must also complete all of the necessary tasks for state office as well. It will be a very fun and exciting journey to see how the duties differentiate themselves from one another.
3. How did you-with 6 supporters- win against schools with 200 supporters there?
I won only by the grace of God! However, it is just so gratifying to see how much of a difference you can make with a limited number of people. I was definitely blessed with the most amazing group of people that continued to support me through all of the set backs, because they were constant sources of encouragement and energy even when it was tough. I am not going to lie when I say it was an uphill battle, but even if I had not won, it would have still been a phenomenal experience. But take this as a lesson to show that size doesn’t matter; so don’t be discouraged if you come from a small school! I would also like to give a special thanks to some of my classmates! Mason Melder and Reaves Hogg were the only people from my school that came with me on the trip and helped me campaign at the convention! I also would not have been able to complete my preparation for nationals without Olivia Gillis and Clary Smiley helping me work on my skit! Erath High School also played a crucial role by participating in my skit! And also a big thank you to everyone that supported me at the convention that supported me with their vote. My win would not have been possible without all of these wonderful people.

The team from St Mary’s campaigning for McCart at the national convention are, from left, Reaves Hogg (campaign manager), Mason Melder, and McCart. 
4. What are you most looking forward to? Not looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to working with my fellow national officers: Hudson Straud from Texas (VP), Hannah Rager from Kentucky (Secretary),as well as our National Leadership Ambassadors! It will be an amazing experience to able to view Beta club from such unique perspectives and trying to find new and diverse ways of leading Beta club in the best direction possible! The same goal also applies for my state board: Myla Johnson from Houma Christian School (VP) and Avery Grace Hebert of Erath High School (Secretary.) The only thing I am not looking forward to is my term ending and not being able to work with my team anymore!
5. As national president, what changes do you want to see? What was your platform?
The main change that I would like to see in Beta is a renewed sense of passion from all members of the club. Beta is an extremely vital organization in terms of community service and providing an outlet for students to be able to express themselves. This change goes hand in hand with my campaign platform of showing compassion to others. My campaign slogan “McCart Has Heart” truly represents my goal of spreading positivity and encouragement to members of the club as I go forward in my term.
6. What are your duties as national president? How do you plan to execute them?
The main role of my position is to uphold the Beta motto, “Let us lead by serving others.” It is also important that I also represent the four pillars of Beta: service, leadership, character, and achievement. Serving the community and Beta club as a whole plays a great factor into my overall responsibilities as national president. I plan to work closely with my team in order to truly make a difference in each of our communities, plus more! It is also my job to ensure that everything runs smoothly for our state and national conventions for the upcoming year. Running conventions of such a large size will prove to be an exciting challenge of pushing my boundaries that have not been pushed before. I plan to fully execute these plans under the grace of God and with the help of my school, state board, and national board to ensure that every single step I make in my Beta journey will be bountiful for everyone involved.
McCart and his national board, from left, Hannah Rager, National Sec. From Kentucky and Hudson Straud, National Vice-President from Texas.

7. What was most fun at national convention? Most intimidating?
The most fun part about convention was meeting all of the wonderful souls that represent Beta. From all of the fellow officers, to people I met while campaigning, every person is so unique in their own way that the only comparison I can make of getting to know everyone is like opening an unlimited amount of presents on Christmas morning.
I would say that the most intimidating factor was definitely the size difference of supporters between myself and others candidates. At first it was terrifying trying to navigate such a big convention center almost by myself while campaigning, but after getting lost six times I got used to it.
8. How do you feel this experience will play into your future?
I honestly consider this as a once in a lifetime experience due to the fact that I know that this will help me form lifelong friendships and connections. Beta club is made up of the most passionate, hard working students from schools throughout the nation so being able to get to know all of these amazing people is truly a privilege. As for work experience, being the head of such a extensive organization will teach me how to properly plan and manage my time wisely while being an efficient and effective leader. I truly am just thankful for this opportunity because it will be such a beneficial and fruitful experience as I go forward into my last year of high school.