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Spellers prove they know the right stuff

CHESAPEAKE — The talented spellers were out in full force Wednesday morning when the special education students showed off their orthographical skills in the Lawrence County Special Spelling Bee at the Chesapeake Community Center.

The bee has been going on for the past 20 years. The children are tested and are given words on their own levels. The idea for the spelling contest came from one-time Symmes Valley teacher, Vicki Steed.

“It is an academic event,” Sharon Blankenship, spelling bee coordinator, said. “It is very different from anything the children do. They work very hard. We get people from the community and retired teachers to be pronouncers and judges.”

This year 48 students from five school districts participated with the spellers being divided into four levels: primary, intermediate, junior high and high school.

The one who wins in one of these categories will go up to at least one higher level next year. All students who participated in Wednesday’s event received ribbons and the winners got trophies.

“The most important thing is the children are learning words that they probably wouldn’t learn in their everyday lessons,” Kathy Conner, Open Door School intervention specialist, said. “They are challenging words. And when they do writing on the computer their spelling improves. The children when they get finished are so proud of themselves. You can see it in their faces.”

Primary Level Winners are: Dylan Branham from Rock Hill Elementary, third; Cody Taylor from Rock Hill, second; and Aaron Waddle from Open Door, first.

Intermediate Level Winners are: Austin Porter from Fairland West, third; Evan Pauley from Fairland West, second; and Selena Glenn from Symmes Valley, first.

Junior High Level Winners are: Travis Callicoat from Symmes Valley, third; Andrew Phillips from Fairland Middle, second; Kristan Glenn from Symmes Valley, first.

High School Level Winners are Libby Wooten from Open Door, third; Ashley Artist from Open Door, second; and Jordan Morrow from Dawson-Bryant, first.