LEES CREEK — This year marks the 21st anniversary of the annual Spelling Bee at East Clinton Middle School.
Following 20 rounds of climatic competition at the middle school, eighth-grader Lex Frye earned top honors as School Champion, with sixth-grader Sydney Beiting finishing close behind in the runner-up position.
There is newfound and reaffirmed value in the bee each year. As ECMS Principal Robbin Luck explains, “It is one of our goals here at ECMS to stretch beyond the content of our core classes. Our Spelling Bee finalists are teaching us lessons of true dedication, grit, and resilience. We promote student voice and choice in learning to grow our students as contributing members of our Astro Family as we build ‘Champions and Ambassadors’ each day.”
To determine finalists for the school-wide bee, students recently participated in preliminary Spelling Bee competitions in their English Language Arts classes. Grade-level finalists were then selected based on performance in those classroom bees.
To help prepare for the school-wide bee, students were provided with potential word lists to study.
Twelve school finalists represented their respective grade levels for the chance to become the top speller in the school and earn the opportunity to move on to the next level of competition — the regional spelling bee.
The school-wide Spelling Bee was held Jan. 4 at East Clinton Middle School in front of a crowd of students, staff and parents.
School finalists included sixth-graders Sydney Beiting, Colton Brockman, Claire Brown, and Ava Mess; seventh-graders Kittrick Adams, Kaleb Bauman, Austin Hodson, and Isaiah Rowe; and eighth-graders Erica Bevan, Lex Frye, Gage Jarrell, and John Orchard.
Sixth-grader Bo Frye and seventh-grader Anna Lopez were selected as alternates.
During each round of the school-wide bee, individual students were presented specific words to spell. To assist them in reciting the correct spelling, students could request for a word to be repeated, ask for the definition or part of speech of the word, ask that the word be used in a sentence, and/or request the word’s language of origin.
School champion Lex Frye and runner-up Sydney Beiting have both received a free one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online for Kids from Encyclopedia Britannica.
As Spelling Bee champion for the school, Frye has advanced to completing an online qualifying test to see whether he will qualify for participation in the semifinal WCPO 9 On Your Side Regional Spelling Bee competition to be held March 16 at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.
Curt Bradshaw, coordinator of Gifted Services with the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center (ESC), served as moderator for the bee. Regina Gerber, gifted intervention specialist with the Southern Ohio ESC and East Clinton Local Schools, helped to organize and judge the event.
Also working behind the scenes to help students prepare for the competition and judging were ECMS English Language Arts educators Howard Arthur, Andrea Davis, Peggy Jeffries, Mistie Manicho and Terri Stauffer.
Information for this article was provided by Curt Bradshaw, who coordinates gifted programs and services for Blanchester and East Clinton Local Schools through the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center.