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Spelling Stars at East Clinton Middle School Sixth grader McKayla Long earns top honors

Spelling Stars at East Clinton Middle School Sixth grader McKayla Long earns top honors

East Clinton Middle School Spelling Bee 2017-2018

Did you know this year marks nine decades of the National Spelling Bee?  The National Spelling Bee was founded in 1925 and has been held continuously since, except during a three-year hiatus during World War II years of 1943-1945.  To determine finalists for the annual school-wide bee at East Clinton Middle School, 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 January 12, 2018 at East Clinton Middle School in front of a crowd of both students and parents.


School finalists included sixth graders Kaleb Bauman, Austin Hodson, McKayla Long, and Eleina Tillman; seventh graders Jayden Brown, Lex Frye, Teddy Murphy, and John Orchard; and eighth graders Jon Fast, Paige Fetters, Van Frye, and Josie Runk.  Eighth-grader Katie Carey was selected as an alternate.

(First row, left to right: Josie Runk, John Orchard, Kaleb Bauman, McKayla Long, Eleina Tillman, Austin Hodson.  Second row, left to right: Gifted Intervention Specialist Regina Gerber, Paige Fetters, Jon Fast, alternate Katie Carey, Teddy Murphy, Van Frye, Lex Frye, and Jayden Brown.)


During each round of the school-wide Spelling Bee, individual students were presented specific words to spell.  To assist them in reciting the correct spelling, students could ask 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 ask for the word’s origin.


Following 17 rounds of highly climatic competition at East Clinton Middle School, sixth grader McKayla Long earned top honors by correctly spelling the word “disengage,” with seventh grader John Orchard and sixth grader Austin Hodson finishing close behind tying for the runner-up position.


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the annual Spelling Bee at East Clinton Middle School.  There is newfound and reaffirmed value in the bee each year.  “ECMS learning goals,” ECMS principal Robbin Luck states, “stretch beyond the content of our core classes.  They encompass traits that are taught through what is called the ‘hidden curriculum’ of traits for our champions and ambassadors to make contributions in all areas of life.  I collect feedback from our students, as well as our staff, on the spelling bee with what worked great and what we need to improve to be better each and every day.  We promote student voice and choice in their learning to grow our students as contributing members of our Astro Family and building Champions and Ambassadors.”


School winner McKayla Long will receive a free one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online for Kids from Encyclopedia Britannica.  As Spelling Bee Champion for the school, Long has advanced to completing an online qualifying test to see if she will qualify for participation in the semifinal WCPO 9 On Your Side Regional Spelling Bee competition to be held on March 17, 2018, at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.


Curt Bradshaw, Coordinator of Gifted Services with the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center, served as moderator for the bee.  Regina Gerber, Gifted Intervention Specialist with the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center, helped to organize and judge the event.  Also working behind the scenes to help students prepare for the competition and judge the event were ECMS English Language Arts educators Howard Arthur, Andrea Davis, Mistie Manicho, and Peggy McPherson-Jeffries.