Students from around Wasco County competed May 23 to show their prowess at s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g.
The 2013 Wasco County Spelling Bee gave spellers a chance to compete for a spot at the state spelling bee, which will take place at the state fair this fall.
The bee was not a traditional movie-style spell-off with students facing off in front of a panel of judges. Instead, parents waited while students were taken to a quiet room and asked to write down the correct spelling for 25 different words.
Elementary school students got more commonly used words while high school students encountered words they might never have heard before.
“I spent time last night on the computer making sure I knew the pronunciation of all the senior division words,” said moderator Stephanie Ritchie of the Columbia Gorge Education Service District.
Kaylee Donovan, a fifth grader from Dufur School, said this was her first year doing the spelling bee and she was pleased with her performance, which put her in first place for Dufur students in third through fifth grade.
“I did it because I thought it might make my spelling teacher happy or proud of me,” Donovan said. “She came and watched.”
She said some of the words were “kind of tricky” but most were easy for her to spell.
Samantha Boisvert, a fifth grade student at Colonel Wright Elementary, said that she did the spelling bee last year and her main goal was to do better this year. She said she practiced by reading the dictionary and having family members quiz her.
“Some of the words were really weird and I had never heard of them before and some were really easy,” she said of the competition list. All of the students in the state got the same words.
Boisvert said she would probably come back again next year.
“I like spelling. It’s fun for me,” she said.
Boisvert received second place in the elementary school division. Celia Acosta of Mosier Community School received first place and Dylan Corson-Burnett of Dry Hollow Elementary received third.
At the middle school level Sonja Jacobsen, a home school student, tied for first place with Olivia Acosta of Mosier Middle School. Chris Tolentino of Maupin Jr. High School placed third.
At the high school level Logan Wraught of Maupin Sr. High School and Ema Erikson of The Dalles Wahtonka High School both gained first place.
Other top finishers across the three levels were Gladys Melgar, Hannah Gorton, Kaylee Donovan, Trevor Lutz, Laurynn Davis, Caleb Wolf, Seth Harvey, Baily Hajicek, Laylah Bzezi and Dorothy Young.