Forty-four fourth and fifth grade students participated in Westwood Elementary’s Annual National Spelling Bee which is sponsored by the E.W. Scripps Company. Scripps is the nations largest and longest running educational promotion of Spelling Bees in the United States. The purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabulary, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

This year after several impressive spelling rounds, one vocabulary round and one and a half hours of competition, sixteen students had not missed a single word from Scripps National Word List containing words on the 3rd through 8th grade level. The competition was tough and many top spellers did not miss a word in the next four rounds until the 8th grade level of words. The top spellers and their last words include: Rhiannon Ross placed third in the Spelling Bee missing revanche, Pierce Holland missed unctuous, Jenna Gaughen left out a letter in matriculation, Jack Williams missed juxtapose, Madie Bateman left out the second p in presumptuous, Daniel Pitts left out a p in sapphire, Madison Leavell misspelled presumptuous, Cassie Hood left out a letter in plagiarism, Anna Johnson forgot the u in laureate, Violette Muzondi misspelled injurious, Sara Kalanther said s instead of c in carcinogen, Daphne Beyerle left out the i in armistice and Abigail Wisner put an a in monochrome.

After two hours of competition Katie Beth Williams and Eden Adams were still spelling head to head. An additional 26 more words were spelled before a winner could be established: dirndl, erstwhile, chiffonade, ventriloquy, portmanteau, isochronous, chimera, seraphic to name a few. Eden Adams, daughter Nikki and Stewart Adams, was declared Champion and Katie Beth Williams daughter of Katherine and Kevin Williams was the Runner Up. A record for Westwood Elementary with over 250 words attempted or spelled in this year’s Spelling Bee. Eden Adams will represent Westwood Elementary in the next level of competition the Sebastian County Spelling Bee on January 25, 2014.

Judges were Debbie Fritche from the Greenwood Athletic Club and Ruthie Griffin from Farmers Bank. Pronouncer was Carrah Efurd, Coordinator of Gifted & Talented Education. A special thank you to Bancorp South for paying the entry fees; Farmer’s Bank for providing trophies and $2 for each speller; and Walmart for awarding prizes to the top spellers.