Spelling bee competitions for students in grades four, five and six recently took place at Helen M. Knight Elementary School. Six finalists from each of the three grade levels advanced to the Feb. 19 district spelling bee.
The fourth-grade competition lasted four rounds, with Kyra Bell getting “attendance” correctly in that round, which narrowed the field to six. Joining her as fourth-grade finalists were Rowan Murdock, Kyla Jackman, Gail Leavitt, Emma Hunsaker, and Miguel Gonzalez.
Forty-seven students participated in the fifth-grade spelling bee – the most from any grade level, according to HMK teacher Charlotte Quigley, who served as one of the moderators. That event lasted six rounds before six finalists remained. They were David Minor, Miranda Corbin, Emma Millis, Kiersten Kimmerle, Josie Wakefield and Blessing Holloway. The final word spelled correctly in the event’s last round was “authoritatively.”
The sixth-grade bee featured 31 spellers, but 10 of them missed their first word. By the third round, there were just 10 spellers vying for the last six spots.
Eventually, Madison Rodriguez spelled “relentlessly” in a spell-off for the final qualifying spot. She edged out Jarrett Reidhead, who missed “depravity.” Joining Rodriguez as sixth-grade finialists were Mary Kimmerle, Bailey Hansen, Auburn Jackman, Teddy Park, and Kevin Park.
Teddy Park won the district spelling bee last year, while his twin brother Kevin finished as the first runner-up.
All 18 finalists received new word lists and have been getting ready to compete in the district spelling bee, which is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the HMK gymnasium. Parents and other family members are welcome to attend. The winner of the district bee will advance to the regional bee later in the spring.