Students from 36 Franklin and Warren County schools vied for “Top Speller” honors at The Bee, the third annual regional spelling competition organized by The Missourian.
The words proved to be difficult from the start with 19 spellers eliminated in the first round. An additional 10 spellers were knocked out in round two.
By round four, only eight spellers remained.
The Bee lasted 13 rounds with Emily Braun, a seventh-grade student at Union Middle School, earning top honors.
Braun correctly spelled “threshold” and “testament” to edge out Garrick Ogle, who was named runner-up. She won a trophy and $100. Ogle received a trophy.
Ogle also was runner-up in the 2012 competition. Both Braun and Ogle have participated in The Bee all three years.
Braun is the daughter of Tim and Lisa Braun.
“I’m relieved that I finally won,” said Braun, adding that she was third in the 2012 bee and lost in the third round in 2011.
The easiest word in this year’s competition — divvy, Braun said.
“I love that word, that’s why it was easy,” she said.
Ogle, the son of Gary and Kathy Ogle, is a sixth-grade student at Marthasville Elementary.
Other top finalists earning medals were: Sean Dolan, Our Lady of Lourdes School; Natalie Maune, St. Vincent de Paul School; Alexander Scharfenberg, Beaufort Elementary; Madelyn Aholt, St. Francis Borgia Grade School; Spencer Johnson, Washington Middle School; and McKenzie White, Riverbend Middle School, who was the 2012 champion.
A large crowd of family, friends and teachers filled the John E. Anglin Performing Arts Center at East Central College, where The Bee was held.
Dawn Kitchell, educational services director for The Missourian, said The Bee was a great success.
“I thought it was neat that both winners had been participants in all three bees (since the regional spelling bee began),” she said. “It shows that if you don’t win the first year, you’ve got to keep studying.”
Kitchell thanked ECC for hosting The Bee, as well as Greg Hoberock, president of hth, which sponsored The Bee.
“East Central College has been such a great partner in our efforts to establish The Bee. We are so appreciative to them, and to Greg Hoberock and his hth companies, for all they do for our communities.”
Students in grades four through eight who won their schools’ spelling bees were eligible to compete. All the participants received The Bee T-shirts.
A total of 39 students were registered for The Bee, but three weren’t able to make the competition.
“The Missourian is proud to offer local students the opportunity to advance to another level of competition,” she said. “We think emphasizing good spelling skills is important and it’s another way we can help our young readers excel.”
ECC hosted a reception for the participants and their parents following The Bee.