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Winners emerge from county spelling bee
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The winners of the Henry County Public Schools 2013 Spelling Bee are (front, from left): 1st-2nd grade category winner Michelle Zheng from Mount Olivet Elementary School and runnerup Angelina Moreton from Campbell Court Elementary, and 3rd-5th grade winner Madison Ross from John Redd Smith Elementary and runnerup Megan Vaughn from Carver Elementary. Behind them are Henry County School Superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton (left) and Director of Elementary Instruction Bill Bullins. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer

After the eventual runner-up, Megan Vaughn, misspelled the word “archaic,” Madison Ross correctly spelled “impediment” and her final word, “interrogative,” to win Henry County Schools’ spelling bee for grades 3-5 Tuesday night.

As the district-wide champion, Madison will compete at the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee in Winston-Salem, N.C., in March. She is in the fourth grade at John Redd Smith Elementary School. Vaughn attends Carver Elementary School.

Michelle Zheng, a second-grader at Mount Olivet Elementary School, won the spelling bee for grades one and two. After the eventual runner-up, Angelina Moreton, misspelled “canteen,” Michelle correctly spelled “climate” and her final word, “reveal,” to win the bee. Moreton attends Campbell Court Elementary School.

The bee for grades 3-5 went 14 rounds, including 11 rounds to narrow the field from nine school winners to two. In all, bee contestants were asked to spell 76 words. Among them were: “tinkerer,” “squalid,” “amigo,” “quirky,” “recipient,” “fantastically,” “empirical,” “fallibility” and “comportment.”

The bee for grades 1-2 went a total of 31 rounds, including 11 rounds to narrow the field from nine school winners to two and then 20 rounds between the final two contestants. After the 25th round, the word list had been exhausted and a backup word list had to be used. Contestants in this bee were asked to spell 113 words in all. Among them were “nitpick,” “manual,” “foster,” “beauty” and “undertow.”

“I feel great. It was fantastic,” Madison Ross, of Collinsville, said in an interview after winning the grades 3-5 spelling bee. She admitted, though, that she was nervous during the bee.

Madison’s mom, Tammy Ross, said, “I think we were as nervous as she was.” Madison’s dad, Brian, and her maternal grandparents also were on hand to see Madison compete.

Tammy Ross couldn’t estimate how much time Madison spent preparing for the bee. The last word list Madison received, which was a couple weeks ago, contains about 1,100 words, Tammy Ross said.

After the bee, the family planned to celebrate by going out to eat wherever Madison wanted, her mother said.

Michelle Zheng, of Martinsville, said in an interview that she was nervous during the bee and was “surprised” to win.

Her mom, Sophia You, said she was nervous, too. “I’m very glad for her. I was happy for her,” she said.

The other school spelling bee champions who competed in the bee for grades one and two were: Jolette Tamayo of Axton Elementary School, Ailyn Rivera Hernandez of Carver Elementary School, Samuel Stanley of Collinsville Primary, Caleb Lynch of Drewry Mason Elementary School, Cole Treaster of Rich Acres Elementary School, Samantha Stewart of Sanville Elementary School and Jolie Bowyer of Stanleytown Elementary School.

The other school spelling bee champions who competed in the bee for grades 3-5 were: Michael Devora Guerrero of Axton Elementary School, Tia Bye of Campbell Court Elementary School, Summer Scott of Drewry Mason Elementary School, Sarah Kallam of Mount Olivet Elementary School, Olivia Jones of Rich Acres Elementary School, Caroline Cook of Sanville Elementary School and Olivia Keaton of Stanleytown Elementary School.

Schools Superintendent Jared Cotton reminded the contestants before the bees started that they had already won twice: their classroom and school bees. “It’s a huge deal you are here,” he said. He added, “Spelling is important now and for your future.”

Melany Stowe, coordinator of parent and community outreach for the county schools, said this was the school division’s third annual elementary school spelling bee and “the longest bee we’ve had.” It lasted more than an hour. “That means you are excellent spellers,” Stowe said.

School officials presented a trophy to each school winner, and trophies to the winners and runners-up of Tuesday night’s event.

Close to 100 people attended the bee, which was at Walker Fine Arts Theater at Patrick Henry Community College.

 

 
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