South 8th grader repeats as spelling champ

Published 10:26 am Thursday, February 14, 2019

It was another year of firsts for the district spelling bee Feb. 7. Last year, competitors spelled a record number of words before the winner was determined.

This year, one of the contestants was unable to attend due to illness. Dr. Danny Cartner said in all his years serving as facilitator, it was the first time one of the spellers was absent. In this case, it was Nadia Rapheal, an eighth-grader at North Davie.

Rapheal’s absence left eight competitors, all vying for the chance to compete in the regional spelling bee March 24 in Winston-Salem.

After several rounds and 50 words, returning champion Reagan Edson, a South Davie eighth grader, correctly spelled word 51, “boudoir,” and took the victory. Last year, Edson made it to the national competition, earning a rank of 42nd in the nation.

Parents, siblings, teachers and others, including three members of the school board, watched as students stepped up to the microphone and tried to remember how to spell the words they’d studied in preparation.

The first round saw all words correctly spelled, but in round two, Jadyn Davis, fifth grader at Cornatzer Elementary, went out on the word “etch,” and Lena Parsley, who is in fourth grade at Mocksville Elementary, went out on “trek.”

By round three, six spellers were left, but two, Noah Tysinger and Brayden Kistner, went out on the words “nosiest” and “ballerina.”

In the next round, Ada Wallace went out on the word “fidelity,” leaving Porter Spann, a fourth grader at Pinebrook, Edson, and Amber McCullough, who is in eighth grade at William Ellis, to compete.

Despite receiving two thumbs-up from his sister every time he got a word right, Spann misspelled “popularity,” leaving McCullough and Edson to duke it out.

McCullough misspelled “misanthropy” and Edson correctly spelled “semolina” to win that round, before spelling the final word for the win.

All participants received a Barnes & Noble gift card, provided by Hillsdale Dental and Mocksville Women’s Club. Edson received a $250 gift card, courtesy of Venezia’s Italian Family Restaurant. McCullough was awarded a $150 gift card, courtesy of the DAvie County Enterprise Record, and Spann received a $100 gift card provided by BB&T.

Judges were Anthony Davis, Allison Fender and Sarabeth Holbert. Round judge was Jennifer Lynde.

Edson is the daughter of Mike and Patti Edson, and McCullough is the daughter of Brad and Dawn McCullough. Spann’s parents are Nolan and Jennifer Spann.

Davis is the daughter of Dylan and Kristen Davis, and Parsley’s parents are Brad and Katie Parsley.

Tysinger, a fifth grader at Shady Grove, is the son of Patrick and Beth Tysinger, and Kistner, who is in fifth grade at Cooleemee, is the son of Jacob and Melissa. Wallace, a fifth grader at William R. Davie, is the daughter of Weston and Misty Wallace.