Six nervous students representing schools from across Dawson County stood in front of their teachers, peers and parents at the district-wide spelling bee.
Tori Adkins, a seventh-grader at Riverview Middle School, won with the word enzyme after spelling atrophy correctly.
Audience members were on the edge of their seats, but Adkins remained calm and poised throughout the bee, pausing before spelling each word to ensure accuracy.
Im really excited, Adkins said after her victory Jan. 27 in the Dawson County Middle School auditorium.
The seventh grader, whose favorite word to spell is encyclopedia, prepared for the bee by using the Internet to research words. She plans to prepare the same way for the regional bee on Feb. 25 at Mabry Middle School in Marietta.
Summer Fisher, an eighth-grader at Dawson County Middle School, was first runner-up.
The other contestants were Jacob Chance, Madison Coker, Cassy Dickey and Samantha Hafermalz.
RMS Assistant Principal Kristi Gerrills and language arts teacher Cassie Tallant were in the audience, watching as Tori spelled her way to the top.
Were so excited, and really proud of Tori, Gerrills said. Shes a leader among her peers.
For her win, Adkins received a trophy and a Merriam-Websters dictionary.
Rick Brown, assistant superintendent, was impressed by all of the students taking part in the bee.
They did a great job today, as usual, he said.
We will be represented very well at the [regional] bee.