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North 6th grader wins county spelling bee

By Beth Cassidy

Enterprise Record

In 2019, Porter Spann came in third in the annual Davie County Schools Spelling Bee.

Last week, he became the grand champion, securing him a spot in the regional bee scheduled for March 21 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Spann, the son of Nolan and Jennifer Spann, is in sixth grade at North Davie Middle.

Other competitors from Davie Schools were: Jameson Patterson, a fourth grade student at Cooleemee Elementary, son of Shelley Hendrick and Joseph Patterson; Jackson Musser, son of John Musser and Tiffany Stover and a fifth grader at William R. Davie Elementary; Riley Barnes, a fifth grader at Shady Grove Elementary and daughter of Stephen and Tracy Barnes; Adysen Weymouth, daughter of Nathan and Bobbie Jo Weymouth and a fifth grader at Mocksville Elementary; Mason Canter, a fourth grader at Cornatzer Elementary and son of Jason Canter and Cindy Gwyn; Jasmine Cristobal, daughter of Anna Lisa and Marlin Cristobal and a fifth grader at Pinebrook Elementary; Brayden Brooks, an eighth grader at William Ellis Middle and daughter of Brandon and Amanda Brooks; and Lena Parsley, daughter of Katie and Bradley Parsley and a sixth grader at South Davie Middle.

The spelling bee was livestreamed from Central Davie Education Center Feb. 4, as no parents and few staff members were allowed in the board room due to Covid 19 precautions. Students wore face masks and shields and were seated several feet away from each other and from the judges and facilitator, Dr. Danny Cartner.

Superintendent Jeff Wallace congratulated the students for winning their individual schools’ competitions and addressed the parents, who were in an adjacent auditorium, congratulating them for their roles in supporting their students’ efforts.

Cartner told the students it was the first time students were allowed to sit down to spell their words. He went over the rules, which included asking the students to pull down their cloth masks but leave their shields on as they spelled a word, and then reposition their cloth masks when their word was spelled.

All students made it through round one, but round two saw the elimination of Musser on the word invoke. In round three, Patterson went out on Baltic and Brooks on mechanics.

Three more were eliminated in round four, as Canter misspelled barricade, Parsley missed cinnamon, and Weymouth incorrectly spelled moxie.

When Barnes misspelled encore in round five, only Spann and Cristobal remained. They both made it through rounds six, seven, eight and nine, but the word agitation stumped Cristobal in round 10. Spann correctly spelled denizen but missed the championship word amalgam, adding a “u” to the word.

In round 11, Cristobal missed the word unkempt, and Spann correctly spelled insulin to win that round and Etruscan for the championship.

As the second place winner, Cristobal got a $150 gift certificate, courtesy of Davie County Enterprise Record, and third place winner Barnes won a $100 gift card, provided by 158 Auto Sales.

Spann won a $250 gift card provided by Venezia Italian Family Restaurant.

All participants received $50 Barnes & Noble gift cards and certificates.

Parents were allowed in one at a time for photos after the competition and will receive photos and a video of the competition on a flash drive.