District spelling bee tests the tongues of students
by Beau Barton
Mar 02, 2011 | 2210 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
District spelling bee tests the tongues of students. Courtesy photo
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For those of us who rely on the safety net of a computer spell check, the San Juan School District Spelling Bee can be an impressive event. On February 22, local students from the third to the eighth grades met at San Juan High School to battle it out with letters and words.

The rules are simple. Each contestant is given a word to spell, such as “pumpernickel”, and must spell it exactly right to avoid elimination. The kids are given no do-overs or resets as they spell out each individual letter. They are given the opportunity to have the word used in a sentence, such as “the baby had a birth mark that looked like a purple pumpernickel”, but besides this they have no other assistance.

Jared Ward, a student at Albert R Lyman Middle School (ARL), is the winner of the spelling bee; with Emma Practchen, of ARL, finishing second; and Zoe Chadwick, of Monticello High School, in third.

Brave participants in the contest include Spencer Knudson, Cole Patterson, and Quincey Ryan from Monticello Elementary School; Zoe Chadwick, Cambria Welch and Nathalie Reay from Monticello High School; Anne Hendry, Grange Simpson, and Ashley Berrett from Blanding Elementary School; Amari Jones, Nigel Sam, and K’Shai Dyer from Bluff Elementary School; Joseph Yellowman, Sariah Holiday, and Summer Allen from Monument Valley High School; and Jared Ward, Emma Pratchen and Cathering Pratchen from ARL Middle School.

The three top spellers move on to the Region Spelling Bee in Moab on March 8. The winner of the regional bee then earns a trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C in June. School officials express appreciation to all the parents and school faculty who help in the contest.
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