Audience members at the recent Newark Middle School Spelling Bee may have thought it was going to be a long night when the contest nearly ended in a tie between eighth-graders Everett Cole and Gabriella Taylor.
They quickly pulled away from the other four contestants early in the bee. After a 30-minute span of rounds where each nailed each spelling, Everett Cole emerged as the champion in Round 43 when he spelled “cyclops.”
Taylor, who tripped on her first try at spelling “defensiveness,” finished in the No. 2 spot.
Everett Cole and Taylor will represent NMS on March 24 at Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva during the regional Scripps National Spelling Bee. The winner will continue on to the national competition in Washington, D.C.
Sixth-grader Grayson Cole, who spelled his way to third place, was named the alternate to represent one of the winners if they cannot participate in the regional competition.
Melissa Hager, the eighth-grade English language arts teacher in charge of the event, pronounced and enunciated each word and read a sentence using the word before each contestant was required to spell it during the bee. She congratulated the winners and all of the students for participating.
“I am always impressed by the courage, support and maturity shown by our competitors, and am so proud of their accomplishments,” Hager said.
To qualify to participate in the NMS Spelling Bee, all students in grades 6-8 took a spelling test.
The other three contestants in the NMS Spelling Bee were sixth-grader Ethan Tonkinson and eighth-graders Abigail Olmstead and Grace Casler.
Word lists were provided by Scripps. The judge was Mary Thoms, a seventh-grade ELA teacher at NMS.