The culmination of several spelling bees across the Dawson County School System, last week's event in the Dawson County Junior High School auditorium resulted in eighth grader Lane McCarthy taking home the hardware.
McCarthy outlasted the other five competitors through four rounds, including the newly-established vocabulary round on Jan. 25.
After McCarthy spelled mammoth, Abby Samples stumbled on the word womanly and McCarthy spelled her next two words correctly to earn the system-wide title.
Her two winning words were learned and Aspen.
The win will send her to Marietta on Feb. 25 for the Georgia Association of Educators District 2 bee that will include winners from Cobb, Cherokee, Union, Lumpkin, Towns, Rabun, White, Habersham and Hall counties. The winner there will move ahead to the state spelling competition in March.
Dr. Janice Darnell, director of student support, called out words after Director of Teaching and Learning Nicole LeCave gave instructions to the gathered onlookers. There are no phones, no pictures and definitely no coaching allowed.
Rounds one and two saw all six contestants survive words like smug, apart and napkin.
The first trip up came in the vocabulary round with the word avian. In that round, students had to choose one of two definitions for the given word.
Croon and waltz took down two more in round three and monsoon eliminated the fourth contestant before moving to the semifinals between McCarthy and Samples.
Participants in this year's system-wide bee included Annette Passmore from Black's Mill Elementary, Nolan Geraghty from Kilough Elementary, Haden Miller from Robinson Elementary, Abby Samples from Riverview Elementary, Megan Wright from Dawson County Middle and Lane McCarthy from Dawson County Junior High.