First Posted: 1/30/2009
With the correct spelling of pitchblende and Sputnik, J. J. Ernest from Arts Based Elementary School became the Piedmont Regional Charter School Spelling Bee champion Friday morning.
From the regional bee, Ernest will advance to the Winston-Salem Journals spelling bee and then, possibly, on to the national spelling bee in Washington D.C. Ernest, a fifth grader, won the elementary bee before advancing to compete in the middle school bee, which he also won. This is the second year that the elementary school winner has swept the competition.
As the winner, Ernest received $100 in savings bonds and two dictionaries.
I think it should be an official holiday now, Ernest said of the day. I hope I do win the next round. Id be very excited to go to the national spelling bee.
While many students were visibly nervous as they stepped to the podium to spell the next word, Ernest claims he was never nervous.
I was excited the whole time, he said. I do spelling bees because I like doing them.
As the students, who represented six different schools, moved through the rounds in the gymnasium at Millennium Charter Academy, they came across words that caused murmurs among audience members wondering what they meant and how they were spelled. Herpetology was a particularly tough one as was maraca.
WPAQ was on hand to broadcast the competition over the radio and provide recordings of the bee to families. Austin Caviness from WXII in Winston-Salem acted as the pronouncer and Jonathan Thomas, instruction of English and humanities at Surry Community College, and Frank Levering, owner of Levering Orchard, were the judges.
In the elementary division, Ernest came in first, Bishop Foster of Arts Based Elementary School finished second and Laura Browne of Millennium Charter Academy was third. In the middle school division, Ernest was once again first, Morgan Moore from American Renaissance Charter School was second and Ty Spicer, also from American Renaissance Charter School, finished third.
Representatives from Forsyth Academy, Greensboro Academy and The New Dimensions School also participated in the spelling bees. There were 17 participants in the elementary bee and 11 participants in the middle school bee.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.