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‘Cowlick,’ ‘igneous’ mean victory for county pupils
Practice pays off in recent spelling bee
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Shown at the Henry County Public Schools district spelling bee are (from left) Bill Bullins, the school division’s assistant superintendent for operations and administrative services; Madison Ross, champion for grades 3-5; Kylie Minter, champion for grades 1-2; Terri-Lynn Bancroft, runner-up for grades 1-2; and Amanda Jones, runner-up for grades 3-5. (Contributed photo)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer

“Cowlick” was the championship word for Kylie Minter of Carver Elementary and “igneous” was the winner for Madison Ross of John Redd Smith Elementary in Henry County Public Schools’ recent district spelling bee.

Kylie was the district bee champion for grades 1-2, and Madison, for grades 3-5. Madison, a fifth-grader, also won the district spelling bee for grades 3-5 last year.

The bee for grades 3-5 lasted 23 rounds, with Madison and Amanda Jones of Rich Acres Elementary going head-to-head for 14 of those rounds, according to an email from Elizabeth Motley, elementary curriculum facilitator for the school division. “On round 23, Madison Ross correctly spelled ‘feng shui’ while Amanda Jones incorrectly spelled ‘accouterment,’ leading to Ross spelling the championship word, ‘igneous,’ correctly,” Motley stated.

In the district bee for first- and second-graders, spellers went through seven rounds before Kylie was declared the winner after correctly spelling “cowlick.” Terri-Lynn Bancroft of Rich Acres Elementary was the runner-up, according to information from Motley.

“I felt really nervous,” Madison said of participating in the 3-5 district bee. “I’d been through it once (last year). I felt a little more confident this time.”

However, she added, “I think it was tougher this year. Since I did so well last year, there was more pressure. I felt a little more nervous.”

Madison, 11, is the daughter of Brian and Tammy Ross of Collinsville.

“I like to draw pictures and read books,” Madison said. “I really like to play outside with my friends. I take dance and run (in 5Ks and fun runs). I like to read mystery books that have lots of chapters.” She added she really likes the Lemony Snicket and Harry Potter book series.

Tammy Ross said spelling “really came naturally” to Madison. “She was a very early reader. Spelling just clicked with her,” Ross added.

Madison said she wants to be an artist or game designer when she grows up.

“She’s looking into computer graphics stuff,” her mom said.

Madison will advance to the regional spelling bee in Winston-Salem, N.C., on March 23, her mom said. To prepare, they are reviewing hundreds of words on 15 official word lists divided by word origins, Tammy Ross said. To prepare for the school and district bees, they also reviewed words for several weeks, she added.

Kylie, 8, is in the second grade at Carver Elementary. She is the daughter of Charlie and Angie Minter of Ridgeway.

Angie Minter said Kylie likes to read and is involved in dance and cheerleading for the Upward Bound program at Horsepasture Christian Church. She played T-ball last spring, and she attends Friendly Christian Church.

“She is fun, energetic, very smart, very kind, very generous,” Angie Minter said.

“Her favorite subjects are social studies, reading, science. She is a very good speller. I think the reading part of it helps her spelling,” her mother said. She added that “The Wizard of Oz” is one of Kylie’s favorite books, and she likes the Kylie Jean book series, in part because her name is Kylie, her mom said.

She added when she was pregnant with Kylie, Angie Minter’s mother and sister gave her a baby shower decorated with a storybook and fairy tale theme. Afterward, the books from the shower became a library for Kylie, who has been read to or reading since, according to her mom.

Kylie said participating in the district spelling bee, for her, “was a combination of (being) nervous and confidence.”

Spelling, Kylie said, “helps me be a better reader.”

She wants to be a kindergarten teacher when she grows up — in part, “to get to be with little kids,” she said.

The district bee was Feb. 6 at Bassett High School.

Each elementary school had a schoolwide bee in the weeks before the district bee. Nine school winners for grades 1-2 and nine school winners for grades 3-5 advanced to the district bee.

School-level champions were:

• Axton Elementary: Elizabeth Caro-Tamayo for grades 1-2 and Lauren Peters for grades 3-5.

• Campbell Court Elementary: Jenny Castro-Bermudez for grades 1-2 and Christopher deJesus Maldonado-Mendoza for grades 3-5.

• Carver Elementary: Kylie Minter for grades 1-2 and Isaiah Scales for grades 3-5.

• Collinsville Primary: Blake Johnson for grades 1-2.

• Drewry Mason Elementary: Kaleigh Lawson for grades 1-2 and Lauren Luther for grades 3-5.

• John Redd Smith Elementary: Madison Ross for grades 3-5.

• Mount Olivet Elementary: Brian Zheng for grades 1-2 and Michelle Zheng for grades 3-5.

• Rich Acres Elementary: Terri-Lynn Bancroft for grades 1-2 and Amanda Jones for grades 3-5.

• Sanville Elementary: Cameron Hale for grades 1-2 and Isaac Clark for grades 3-5.

• Stanleytown Elementary: Kaylieah Fuller for grades 1-2 and Christian Sarabia for grades 3-5.

Janet Lewis, middle school curriculum facilitator for Henry County Schools, was the pronouncer for the district bee. Judges were English teachers LaDonna Varner of Bassett High School, Kathryn Ingram of Fieldale-Collinsville Middle and Frannie Uitto of Laurel Park Middle; and Victoria Clements, teacher for the Regional Hearing Impaired Program at Stanleytown Elementary.

Varner, Ingram and Uitto are all National Board Certified Teachers, and Varner was the 2012 Teacher of the Year for the school division.


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