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Four to make us proud

Each year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee hosts its regional competition at Ohio University in Athens.

The bee is open to students, from fourth through eighth grades, who have been the winner at the spelling bees at their individual schools. To be eligible to compete, students must take an online test and attain a high score.

In past years, Lawrence County has sent a few students to compete in the bee, but, this year, our area is lucky enough to have four spellers qualify to take part in the event.

Emily Ferguson, of Fairland, the champion of the Lawrence County Spelling Bee, will be joined by John Tyler, of Chesapeake, Hanna McKenzie, of South Point, and Danielle Leonard, of Ironton, at the completion in March.

The winner of the regional event will get a trip to Washington, D.C. for a chance to compete in the Scripps National bee in May. This feat has been accomplished by a Lawrence County student in the past, with Felicity Jenkins, who graduated from Symmes Valley High in 2016, making the trip in 2010.

This year’s crop of spellers are enthusiastic about the contest and, as their accomplishments show, are a strong group of competitors.

The Lawrence County Educational Services Center organizes the annual county bee and helps to facilitate students taking part in regional.

In a world of automatic spell check programs, many may not see the value in a bee. But, in addition to promoting literacy and mastery of the English language, encouraging them to conduct research and study, finding out about the roots of words, definitions and use of the word in sentences, it also helps to prepare students for public speaking.

We commend the ESC for their work in organizing around this event locally and we wish great luck to Ferguson, Tyler, McKenzie and Leonard, whose accomplishments we know we will hear more of in the future.