With words like "spaceship" flying out of the caller's mouth, the Dawson County System-wide Spelling Bee was sure to make its winner "famous," which, coincidentally, was another of the words that the county's best spellers had to figure out to move on.
The system bee, which was held on Jan. 28 at Dawson County Middle School, pit six spellers, one from each middle and elementary school, against each other to see who was the best at words in Dawson County.
After several rounds of words such as "activity," "erode" and "dynamite," only two spellers remained - Bailey Davis from Dawson County Middle School and Maddie Elliott from Robinson Elementary School.
After another set of words and tense rounds, Davis edged ahead of Elliott with the words "monarch" and "tolerant" to be named the system's best speller.
"I'm really happy to have won," Davis said. "I read like six books a week, so that really helped. I've studied a lot of books and I'm really excited to go on to the next level."
Davis will represent Dawson County in the system-wide spelling bee later this month.
"Bailey Davis is a great student and a great representative of our school," said Dawson County Middle School Principal Mark Merges. "She's an avid reader and her teachers have nothing but great things to say about her."
Davis' parents said they couldn't be more proud of their daughter.
"We are very, very proud of her," said Davis' mother, Denise. "We are looking forward to her going on to the district bee."
Her father, Jeff, echoed her mother's thoughts.
"We are so proud. It's just amazing at how calm she was," he said. "We practiced with national spelling bee words, but we'll have to really study up for this one."
The district spelling bee will be on Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. in Eatonton.
Should Davis be unable to attend the bee in Eatonton, Elliott, as her alternate, will attend.