West Feliciana robotics team member Archer Pangbern crouched close to the floor next to the robot he and his team hoped to ride to victory as a group of girls from his parish sweetly sang a pop artist John Legend’s "All of Me."

Excellence and achievement comes in all varieties, and that theme took stage as more than 1,000 students competed in the District 7 Beta Rally on Nov. 11 at Copper Mill Elementary School.

Karen Jones, District 7 Beta Sponsor, said 25 public and private schools from the Baton Rouge region were represented at the rally. Two Zachary schools, Copper Mill and Northwestern, participated. Jones acknowledged the challenges of coordinating 1,000 students though several categories of competition, but she was thrilled at rally’s end. “The rally went extremely well, and I’m very pleased with the outcome,” she said.

Beta encourages and acknowledges academic excellence, but talent, special skills and teamwork took center stage during the rally. Students sang and played instruments. Others worked to accomplish tasks with robots and teams built a “Tower of Power” structure out of straws in hopes that the towers could support and balance a tennis ball placed on top.

Jones, a veteran Copper Mill teacher, said the rally’s success also was built upon a special mix of Zachary teamwork. She thanked first her Copper Mill Beta co-sponsors Amber Gonzalez and Jamie Knight. “Also to my Principal Angela Cassard, assistant principal and the master of ceremony Jonathan Coats, and CME Academic Dean of Students Dwayne Chatelaine for their assistance in making this day a success,” she said.

Jones said she hopes all the District 7 schools are encouraged continue the positive traditions found in the Beta Club motto “Let us lead by serving others.”