ACPS Crowns Division Spelling Champion

February 1, 2022

Reported by: Alleghany County Public Schools

LOW MOOR — Solara Kern won the Alleghany County Public Schools Division’s spelling bee crown Thursday, January 27, 2022, after 25 grueling rounds.

Solara, who participated in the division-level spelling bee as champion of Callaghan Elementary School, ended the tense competition by spelling the word “spiteful.”

The division spelling bee was held at Clifton Middle School’s Gleason Forum Hall.

Ethan Banker of Sharon Elementary School was the runner-up. Ethan will represent ACPS in the regional spelling bee in the event Solara cannot participate. The regional spelling bee will be held online in March.

In addition to Solara and Ethan, four other students participated in the ACPS division spelling bee: Adrienne Downs, the sixth grade champion at CMS; Silvio Brown, the seventh grade champion at CMS; Kierra Lawson, CMS’ eighth grade champion; and Paelynn Osbourne, the Mountain View Elementary champion.

“You are here because you are the best speller in your school or at your grade level,” Josh Craft, principal of Callaghan Elementary School, told the six contestants.

Mr. Craft served as the pronouncer for the bee. Three retired Alleghany County educators served as judges: Amy Dew, Sherry Craft, and Brenda Siple.

The panel of judges reached deep into the dictionary and presented the contestants with tough words such as “bivouac,” which is a temporary camp without tents, and “larkspur,” a Mediterranean plant that bears spikes of spurred flowers.

“As a card-carrying spelling bee nerd, this competition was one of the most dramatic and interesting bees I’ve ever had the pleasure of calling,” Mr. Craft said. “There were some hard words on this year’s list, and I know I speak for our three judges to acknowledge that we were all impressed with the participants’ spelling abilities and sportsmanship.”

ACPS’ annual division spelling bee is part of the E.W. Scripps National Spelling Bee competition. Scripps sponsors the spelling competition to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage.

The 2022 national competition will be held on June 2, 2022, in Washington, D.C. The bee is the nation’s longest-running educational competition, having launched in 1925.

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