Spelling bees are ‘a lot of fun’

Marshall students head to regional spelling bee next week

Photo courtesy of Shawna Holt Alex Sturrock steps up to the microphone during an all-school spelling bee at True Light Christian School on Jan. 18. Sturrock won the fifth- through eighth-grade spelling bee. True Light was one of the Marshall schools that held spelling bees last month

MARSHALL — Over the past month, Marshall students competed against each other to see how their spelling skills stack up. Now, the winners of spelling bees at both public and private schools will be moving up to compete at the regional level.

A total of 27 middle school students from across 22 school districts will compete at the regional spelling bee in Redwood Falls next week. The competition is usually an exciting one for students, said Andrea Anderson, student enrichment coordinator at Southwest West Central Service Cooperative.

This year, students from Marshall Middle School, Holy Redeemer School, Samuel Lutheran School and True Light Christian School will all be advancing to the regional bee.

This year was the first time True Light held an all-school spelling bee, said middle school teacher Shawna Holt.

“It was a lot of fun,” Holt said. “The middle school students showed a lot of support for the younger kids.”

On Jan. 18, True Light students competed in two age divisions for elementary and middle-school students. Eighth-grade student Alex Sturrock won the middle school bee, and Kyla Sprik, Josiah Sternke and Ayden Keen were the runners-up. In the elementary school bee, fourth-grade student Evie Mahoney was the winner, and Landon Livingston and Noah Doughty were runners-up.

At Marshall Middle School, all students have a chance to participate in the spelling bee at the classroom level. Students who earn top scores on their classroom tests go on to school-wide bees.

This year, Charles Mueller Thompson placed first and Lucienne Pearson placed second in the fifth- and sixth-grade spelling bee. Roman Gaul placed first and Lauren Paulson placed second in the seventh- and eighth-grade bee. Charles and Roman will represent MMS at the regional spelling bee.

At Samuel Lutheran, grade-level winners in fifth through eighth grade took part in a school-wide spelling bee on Jan. 17. Alyssa Rubendall was the school champion, with Callen Fischer placing second and Andrew Lee placing third. Alyssa will represent Samuel Lutheran at the regional bee.

Holy Redeemer School held spelling bees for two age groups on Jan. 19. In the third- through fifth-grade bee, Brielle Luckhardt was the winner and Finley Boerboom was the runner-up. In the sixth- through eighth-grade bee, Kyra Bailey was the winner, and Finley Pelz was the runner-up. Kyra will be representing Holy Redeemer at the regional spelling bee.

Students headed to the regional bee on Feb. 7 will participate in a couple different rounds of competition, Anderson said.

“They’ll start out with a written round, and then they’ll do an oral round,” she said. In the oral round, each student gets a chance to spell three words, before results are tallied up and the top spellers advance to a “spelldown” round.

The oral round gives students more chances to take part in the bee before any contestants are eliminated, Anderson said.

“It’s nice to give them a couple of opportunities,” she said. It also gives the kids more experience spelling for the judges, which can help with nervousness.

The top spellers at the SWWC regional tournament will go on to participate in a multi-regional tournament later this month in Fergus Falls. The winner of the multi-regional bee will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.


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