Cornatzer student top speller

Published 9:40 am Thursday, February 11, 2016

Caucus and adjacent.

Those are the two words fifth grader Amber McCullough spelled correctly to win the annual Davie County Schools Spelling Bee.

The win netted McCullough a $250 gift card and the chance to compete at the Regional Spelling Bee March 20 in Winston-Salem.

McCullough is a student at Cornatzer Elementary and wants to be a writer when she grows up.

Winners from each elementary and middle school competed in the Bee, held Feb. 4. Facilitated by Dr. Danny Cartner, the judges were Noel Grady-Smith, Sara Holbert, Joni Russell and Kathy Crews.

Other participants were: Blake Stokes, Cooleemee; Sarah West Marklin, Mocksville; Lane Goldner, Pinebrook; Tatum Childress, Shady Grove; Luke Olinger, William R. Davie; Dylan Osborne, North Davie; Briana Taylor, South Davie; and Charlie Barnhardt, William Ellis.

Before the competition, Cartner said to the students: “You are already champions. Think of yourselves as the (Carolina) Panthers. It’s like we’ve assembled the Panthers because we have a whole group of champions. We’re just looking for the MVP now.”

In round one, Barnhardt went out on the word apricot, Taylor went out on coolant, and Stokes missed nasal.

All remaining participants made it through round two, but in round three, Marklin missed Soviet, and Goldner misspelled denture. All made it through round four, but in round five, Olinger went out on xylophone and Childress missed incorruptible.

Round six saw only two participants left, Osborne and McCullough, and they both missed their words, concatenate and vendetta, but made it through round seven.

In round eight, Osborne misspelled croquet, giving McCullough the win after she correctly spelled her words.

Osborne took second place, and after both Olinger and Childress missed their words, Childress got the chance to spell juggernaut, but misspelled it. Olinger correctly spelled pumpernickel and took third place.

All participants received Barnes and Noble gift cards and a certificate for a free pizza from Venezia Italian Family Restaurant.

McCullough’s $250 gift card was courtesy of Venezia’s. Osborne received a $150 gift card provided by the Davie County Enterprise Record, and Olinger received a $100 gift card from BB&T.