Thirty middle school spellers sat nervously on stage at Dawson County Middle School last week for the annual spelling bee that ended up going through eight rounds before reaching the final two contestants-Megan Wright and Madelyn Lee.
Wright, a 12-year-old seventh grader, took first after correctly spelling Honolulu and neutron on Jan 12.
If that sounds easy, she also spelled burglarious in the round prior and runner up Lee handled tenaciously.
This year's bee also featured, for the first time ever, a vocabulary round where students had to correctly choose between two options of definitions for words like treatise, strategems and pearlescent.
That round successfully narrowed the field between rounds two and four of the standard bee format.
After eight rounds, Wright and Lee took turns until one of the two was able to spell two words correctly.
Lee handled tenaciously before getting tripped up on scrumptiously.
After Wright conquered burglarious, she stumbled with thaumaturge-a word that spellcheck isn't even sure about. She went on to her winning words after Lee struggled with vulpine.
Spelling bees were held across the system recently to determine winners and runners up who would advance to the system-wide bee at 9 a.m. on Jan. 25 at Dawson County Junior High School.
Kilough Elementary School hosted its bee on Jan. 5 and fourth grader Nolan Geraghty won with the word janitor. Haylee Simonds took the second spot.
At Robinson Elementary School, fifth grader Hayden Miler won and fourth grader Tatuski Blackwell took second.
Black's Mill Elementary hosted its bee on Jan. 11 and 12, students from the fourth and fifth grade competed.
Fifth grader Annette Passmore won with biology and clause. Ryan Mathis, a fourth grader, took the second spot.
On Jan. 5, Riverview Elementary spellers competed through several rounds with fifth grader Abby Samples correctly spelling biology to take first.
Fellow fifth-grader Tatiana Chavez was runner up.
Dawson County Junior High will hold its bee today.