Spelling Bee is a Challenge!

by Michael Porter
In a world of autocorrect, does anyone really need to know how to spell? These students say YES, and demonstrated their prowess at the Spelling Bee on January 11.
Fifth and sixth graders took a preliminary written test of 25 words. Of these, 20 students qualified for the live, on-stage Spelling Bee.

Nervously, each student introduced themselves in front of their classmates and family members who attended. Writing teacher Ms. Kate Pleasants acted as the MC and pronouncer.

Next, the preliminary rounds had all students write down the same word on paper. Some of the words were easy while others were more difficult. After a few rounds, the contestants were narrowed down to 9 students and the real competition began.

It’s one thing to write a word on paper, but spelling it out letter by letter in front of a microphone is an entirely different story. As many students are visual learners, they had to “see” the word in their heads first and then recite the letters. In front of an anxious audience, this puts a lot of pressure on a person.

Finally the field was narrowed down to three, then two. 

The winning word was affirm, spelled correctly by 5th grade Nora. T. She will move up to the next round, competing against other Jacksonville school winners.

The first runner up was Lynn I., while the second runner up was Lexi H. The top three were recognized by Director of Education Tonya Elstein at the school-wide assembly on January 13.

Congratulations to all of the students who worked so hard.