DANVILLE —It took 26 rounds of competition to identify the 2013 Knox County Middle School Spelling Bee Champion. The winner and the runner up, as it turned out, were both sixth graders. Quinn Bartsch from Fredericktown was the champion speller and Cate Wheeler of Centerburg was the runner up.
The event was held at the Danville High School Auditorium Monday night and included students from grades 5 to 8. The five Knox County school districts were represented: Centerburg, Danville, East Knox, Fredericktown, and Mount Vernon. Knox County Enrichment Coordinator John Jurkowitz served as organizer and pronouncer.
Knox County Commissioners Teresa Bemiller, Thom Collier, and Roger Reed served as judges. Jurkowitz pronounced the words to the students and the commissioners had to agree if the students spelled the word correctly. The students were allowed to ask for the word to be repeated, for a definition or for the word to be used in a sentence.
The Mount Vernon Rotary Club provided the two winners’ trophies, $20 gift certificates to Colonial Book Shop for all of the champions and T-shirts.
The spelling words were drawn from the national spelling bee list and progressively got more difficult as the rounds progressed. Initially very few students ask for repeats or usages but in later rounds clarifications were requested with more frequency. The words progressed from words like “cloudy,” “duty,” and “clever,” to “squalid,” “diverge” and “covetous.”
When the contestants were narrowed to just Bartsch and Wheeler, Wheeler misspelled “galley,” but then Bartsch misspelled “simulate.” The two competed for five more rounds until Wheeler misspelled another word and Bartsch spelled his word correctly. When he spelled his final word, “solvent,” he had earned his place as champion and she was named runner up.Launch Image Gallery
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