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.