JEFFERSON - Building winners competed at a hard-fought Jefferson Area Local Schools District Spelling Bee on Thursday, Feb. 2.
This year, Jefferson Area Junior High School hosted the Bee, which lasted nearly an hour, one of the longest bees the school officials in attendance could remember. School Improvement Coach William Mullane completed the pronunciation of words for the spelling bee, while Language Arts teacher Jennifer Square served as judge.
Competitors included Jefferson Elementary School sixth-grader Evan Valtman; Jefferson Area Junior High eighth-grader Aubree Rohrer; and Rock Creek Elementary sixth-grader Bella Brecker.
Aubree is the daughter of Alicia Corbin and James Rohrer. Bella is the daughter of Melinda and Edward Ratican. Evan is the son of Deborah and James Valtman.
“I know you’re all anxious. Take a few deep breaths,” JAJHS Principal Rick Hoyson said at the start of the bee. “Congratulations on making it this far.”
Mullane asked the students to spell 133 words during the bee, which lasted 58 rounds before having the championship word of “potentialities.”
The students easily made their way through the early words, such as “janitor,” “anteater,” “teaspoon” and “complaints.”
In the 17th round, Aubree had the first misstep with the bee when she misspelled “settee,” which she had asked for the definition of - a medium-sized sofa. The definition didn’t help, as she started to spell the word with a “c.”
Then only Evan and Bella remained in the bee, with them both spelling every word correctly until Isabella misspelled “silhouetted” in the 57th round.
That left Evan by himself in the 58th round, correctly spelling “percussant” and then the championship word of “potentialities.”
His spelling potential demonstrated, Evan won a trip to the Ashtabula County Spelling Bee on Wednesday, Feb. 15.
After the bee, the students said they had all practiced a lot.
“I practiced, [but] that word - I was kind of confused,” Aubree said.
Of her misspelling, Bella said she had been trying to decide if the word had one “l” or two.
Evan said he practiced by using the Scripps National Spelling Bee website and with the help of his mom.
photo by stefanie wessell
Pictured, Jefferson Elementary School sixth-grader Evan Valtman, center, was the winner of the Jefferson Area Local Schools District Spelling Bee. Jefferson Area Junior High eighth-grader Aubree Rohrer, left, placed third, while Rock Creek Elementary sixth-grader Bella Brecker came in second.