Hollin Stewart wins Elkin City Schools spelling bee with ‘sonata’


By Wendy Byerly Wood - wbyerly-wood@elkintribune.com



Hollin Stewart, a seventh-grader at Elkin Middle School, spells a word during the Elkin City Schools district spelling bee Thursday. Stewart went on to win the district-wide bee.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Participants in the Elkin City Schools’ district spelling bee include, from left, Lucas Keller, Hollin Stewart, Liam King, Thomas McComb, Brady Reed, Brandon Vargas, Ruthy Torriente, Alison Wells, Maggie Sebastian, Lourdes Lopez and Elijah Vinton.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Cynthia Altemueller, chief academic officer for Elkin City Schools, gives district-wide spelling bee winner, Hollin Stewart, a hug as she presents the winner’s plaque.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Judges for the Elkin City Schools spelling bee, from left, Matthew Wagoner, Paige Edwards and Lisa Nabors, listen as pronouncer Karen Spencer goes of the rules of the bee.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Lourdes Lopez


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Thomas McComb


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Elijah Vinton


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Maggie Sebastian


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Brandon Vargas


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Liam King


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Brady Reed


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Ruthy Torriente


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Lucas Keller


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Alison Wells


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From 11 spellers to one champion, Elkin City Schools held its district-wide spelling bee Thursday to determine who would go on to represent the district at the regional bee in Winston-Salem in March.

Hollin Stewart has been part of the district-wide bee as long as she’s been eligible, which started in third grade, but this year was a little different as she took home the title of winner as a seventh-grader.

In her series of eight rounds, she spelled correctly humble, cauliflower, rupture, karma, hickory, jute, ventilate and finally sonata to out-spell the other students in the competition for the victory.

While words such as android, quiver, chinchilla, prescription, fickle, decoy, bungalow, bruin, talc, slaughter, Pueblo and gorgeous advanced spellers to the next rounds, other words like gunnysack, stethoscope, macaroni, ravel, manicure, gardenia, geode and necessary stumped the spellers.

In the fourth round, it came to Stewart and fellow seventh-grader Elijah Vinton, who faced off for three more rounds before Vinton misspelled necessary, and Stewart went on to spell her seventh-round word and the final champion word correctly for the win.

Sonata was Stewart’s championship word. She will go on to represent the city school system on March 18 at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem.

“You guys have a talent above a lot of other people. Some people don’t have a natural ability to spell, and I don’t mean that disrespectfully. Some of us have to work at that, some of us like to use the dictionary, spell check, and some of us type in like we’re going to send a text message so we can see if it’s going to come up wrong and we can quickly fix it in a Word document. So we have ways around it, but you guys should be proud of yourselves no matter what happens tonight,” said Cynthia Altemueller, chief academic officer, as she got the spelling bee started.

Superintendent Dr. Myra Cox said, “First and foremost, I want to say to each of you how proud I am of you, you come to us as winners. I am extremely proud of your talent for spelling. I was a pretty good speller in school, but I never won the spelling bee. I participated in one district-wide bee, and I think I was the first one out, so I know how that feels. But still be proud of yourselves for your accomplishment.”

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

Hollin Stewart, a seventh-grader at Elkin Middle School, spells a word during the Elkin City Schools district spelling bee Thursday. Stewart went on to win the district-wide bee.
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-1-formatted.jpgHollin Stewart, a seventh-grader at Elkin Middle School, spells a word during the Elkin City Schools district spelling bee Thursday. Stewart went on to win the district-wide bee. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Participants in the Elkin City Schools’ district spelling bee include, from left, Lucas Keller, Hollin Stewart, Liam King, Thomas McComb, Brady Reed, Brandon Vargas, Ruthy Torriente, Alison Wells, Maggie Sebastian, Lourdes Lopez and Elijah Vinton.
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-2-formatted.jpgParticipants in the Elkin City Schools’ district spelling bee include, from left, Lucas Keller, Hollin Stewart, Liam King, Thomas McComb, Brady Reed, Brandon Vargas, Ruthy Torriente, Alison Wells, Maggie Sebastian, Lourdes Lopez and Elijah Vinton. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Cynthia Altemueller, chief academic officer for Elkin City Schools, gives district-wide spelling bee winner, Hollin Stewart, a hug as she presents the winner’s plaque.
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-3-formatted.jpgCynthia Altemueller, chief academic officer for Elkin City Schools, gives district-wide spelling bee winner, Hollin Stewart, a hug as she presents the winner’s plaque. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Judges for the Elkin City Schools spelling bee, from left, Matthew Wagoner, Paige Edwards and Lisa Nabors, listen as pronouncer Karen Spencer goes of the rules of the bee.
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-4-formatted.jpgJudges for the Elkin City Schools spelling bee, from left, Matthew Wagoner, Paige Edwards and Lisa Nabors, listen as pronouncer Karen Spencer goes of the rules of the bee. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Lourdes Lopez
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-5-formatted.jpgLourdes LopezWendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Thomas McComb
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-6-formatted.jpgThomas McCombWendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Elijah Vinton
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-7-formatted.jpgElijah VintonWendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Maggie Sebastian
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-8-formatted.jpgMaggie SebastianWendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Brandon Vargas
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-9-formatted.jpgBrandon VargasWendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Liam King
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-10-formatted.jpgLiam KingWendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Brady Reed
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-11-formatted.jpgBrady ReedWendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Ruthy Torriente
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-12-formatted.jpgRuthy TorrienteWendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Lucas Keller
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-13-formatted.jpgLucas KellerWendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Alison Wells
http://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_spelling-14-formatted.jpgAlison WellsWendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

By Wendy Byerly Wood

wbyerly-wood@elkintribune.com

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