7th Grader Repeats As Regional Spelling Bee Champion


Jared Ward, a seventh grader from Albert R. Lyman Middle School in the San Juan School District, repeated as top speller this year after a competitive 30 rounds of spelling. The regional spelling bee took place at Green River High School on Thursday.

Monticello High eighth grader Nathalie Reay placed second and Kevin Park placed third. Park and his twin brother Teddy are fifth graders from Helen M. Knight Elementary School in Moab.

Ward started the first round spelling llama. He then breezed through words like fandango, pumpernickel, libretto and rhinoceros. Ward topped Reay by correctly spelling fibula, which Reay incorrectly spelled. According to the rules of the competition, Ward was then required to spell a championship word to clinch first place. That he did, correctly spelling ciliary in the 30th round.

The spelling bee brought together spellers from Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan Districts plus Pinnacle Canyon Academy. the sixth round thinned the original field of 15 down to five spellers who then went six more rounds without a mistake. Round 15 then narrowed the competition to Ward and Reay. They went back and forth until the 29th round when Reay misspelled fibula.

Larry Davis, principal of Emery High School, pronounced the spelling bee words and Theresa Wilson and Johnna Boyack served as judges. The region spelling bee is a preliminary competition in the Scripps National Spelling Bee to be held during Bee Week 2012, May 27-June 1 in Washington, D.C.

The Scripps Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion, administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company and sponsors in the United States, American Samoa, Canada, China, Europe, Ghana, Guam, Jamaica, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The spelling bee’s purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

The top three district spellers from grades 4-8 in Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan school districts as well as Pinnacle Canyon Academy advanced to the regional spelling bee from spelling bees held in their respective schools.

List of participants:

Grand: Teddy and Kevin Park, fifth grade. Cody Gatlin, sixth grade. All from Helen M. Knight Elementary.

Emery: Tyrell Shumway, eighth grade from Green River High School. Riata Christiansen, sixth grade. Aubree Justice, fifth grade. Both from Ferron Elementary.

Carbon: Aubree Fausett, fifth grade. Ceairrah Warner, fifth grade. James Bryner, fourth grade. All from Creekview Elementary.

San Juan: Jared Ward, seventh grade. Noah Kemner, seventh grade. Both from Albert R. Lyman Middle School. Nathalie Reay, eighth grade, from Monticello High School.

Pinnacle Canyon Academy: Jared Brandt, sixth grade. Macy Morrill, seventh grade. Isaac Finley, seventh grade.

As first-place speller, Ward reveived an all-expense paid trip for two to Maryland and Washington D.C. to compete in the National Spelling Bee. He was also awarded a $50 Louis Sugarman Award and a Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. First, second and third place spellers received a year’s subscription to Encyclopedia Brittanica Online. In additions, second and third place winners received a $20 Amazon gift certificate.

This year’s spelling bee was sponsored by the Southeast Education Service Center in Price, UT.

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