TENNERTON — The auditorium at Buckhannon-Upshur High School was abuzz Thursday as students from all Upshur County Elementary Schools and Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School strived to be the best spellers and to win a place to participate in the upcoming regional spelling bee.
The regional spelling bee is where spellers can punch their ticket to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington. CC
In the first round, students attempted to spell words such as ‘rude’, ‘Juneteenth’, ‘larkspur’ and ‘chai’. And in the second round, the candidates’ spelling words included “pig”, “primordial” and “bantlings”.
Round three kicked off with just the top four students remaining in the competition and winner Bryce Nguyen correctly spelled “phenomenal” for the win.
On Thursday, Bryce Nguyen, son of Vu Nguyen and Nguyen Tran, who also won first place in the 2021 Upshur County Schools Spelling Bee, won first place in the 2021 Upshur County Schools Spelling Bee. Upshur. Bryce, who is 14, attends Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School and is in 8and class.
“I’m happy to have won again,” Bryce said, adding that when he prepares for the contest, he goes through the entire spelling list. “I have an app to help me learn to spell.”
Kenton Stump, who is in sixth grade at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, won second place in the spelling bee. Kenton is 11 years old and the son of Joshua and Amberly Stump.
“I placed second last year in the Upshur County Schools Spelling Bee,” Kenton said. “I’m lucky that my social studies teacher helps me study and prepare for the spelling bee. Sometimes I go through the big book with the spelling words and other times I think of the words and try to spell them.
Lila Wright, an eighth grader at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, won third place in Thursday’s spelling bee. Lila is the daughter of Rodney and Daya Wright.
“I’ve ranked every year I’ve competed,” Lila said. “When I prepare for the spelling bee, my mother helps me a lot. She reads the words and I spell them for her. I also study on my own at school.
Coming in fourth place and earning a spot as a substitute in Upshur County Schools, Spelling Bee was a fifth-grade student at French Creek Bella Wolfe Elementary School. Bella, who is 11, is the daughter of Rebecca Young and William Wolfe.
“This is my first time at the Upshur County Schools Spelling Bee, and I really had no strategy,” Bella said.
Upshur County Schools Superintendent Dr Sara Lewis Stankus greeted those gathered for the competition and asked the students to spell the word ‘success’ because when she thinks of students it is the word that comes to mind, she said.
“That’s what I think of when I think of all the students here tonight,” Stankus said. “We were just saying one of you might end up in Washington, DC in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. We will send three students to compete in the regionals. We are very excited about tonight.
Stankus thanked the families for encouraging their students.
“Thank you to teachers who inspire students,” Stankus said. “I am so amazed at everything that is happening in our classrooms.”
Stankus thanked Jody Johnson, director of federal programs; Melinda Stewart, Secondary Program Director; and Kayla Yocum, Technology Systems/Digital Communications Specialist for the organization of the event.
“Thank you to The Record Delta for sponsoring the Spelling Bee,” Stankus said.
Jonathon Pollock, principal of Buckhannon-Upshur High School, served as the emcee and pronunciator for the event.
College Participants at Upshur County Schools 2022 “What’s the Buzz?” Spelling Bee features: Kenton Stump, 6and grade, B-UMS; Shelby Vaughan, 6 years oldand grade, B-UMS; Sylas Knight, 7 years oldand grade, B-UMS; Kayden Thomas, 7 years oldand grade, B-UMS; Bryce Nguyen, 8 years oldand grade, B-UMS; and Lila Wright, 8and grade, B-UMS.
Participating elementary students include Brock Williams, 4and year, elementary school Buckhannon Academy; Miley Tallman, 5 years oldand year, elementary school Buckhannon Academy; Savannah McCartney, 4 years oldand year, French Creek Elementary; Bella Wolfe, 5 years oldand year, French Creek Elementary; Gemma Casella, 4 years oldand grade, Hodgesville Elementary; Aurora Ware, 5and grade, Hodgesville Elementary; Katelyn Goetsch, 4 years oldand year, Rock Cave Elementary; Wesley Smith, 5 years oldand year, Rock Cave Elementary; Brooklyn Butler, 4and year, Tennerton Elementary; Payton Brown, 5 years oldand year, Tennerton Elementary; Kynzie Ball, 4and year, Union Elementary; Emma Pinley, 5 years oldand year, Union Elementary; Gabriella Moreland, 4 years oldand year, Washington District Primary; and Halle Moody, 5and year, Washington District Primary.