Last Updated on October 19, 2018 6:52 pm
Hardin Park sixth-grader Sam Nystrom correctly spelled “Jaguar” and “Confetti” to secure victory in the Watauga County Schools district-wide spelling bee held Oct. 19. Parkway’s Hannah Lutz and Katie Coombes of Blowing Rock tied for the runner-up spot in the contest.
Nystrom’s win marks his second district spelling bee championship in the last three years.
The top-speller in each school was invited to attend the competition held at the WCS central office. This year’s contestants were: Andrew Tester of Bethel, Katie Coombes of Blowing Rock, Andrew Greer of Cove Creek, Kylie Broce of Green Valley, Sam Nystrom of Hardin Park, Diane McGlamery of Mabel, Hannah Lutz of Parkway and Shawn Vestey of Valle Crucis.
A single speller from each school secured a stop at the district-wide spelling bee final by winning a competition among fourth through eighth-grade students at her or his school.
Meredith Jones, Watauga County Schools director of middle grades education, said regardless of the competition's outcome, students had demonstrated hard work and dedication to make an appearance at the district bee.
“We want to congratulate all these fantastic spellers from each school,” Jones said. “It’s a great accomplishment to the be the best speller in your school and to make it to the district bee. I’m grateful to all of you for how fantastically you’ve represented your schools. Thanks are in order as well to all the local businesses who support us and make the spelling bee possible.”
The 2018 district spelling bee was sponsored by Carolina West Wireless and SkyLine/SkyBest. Several local businesses also donated prizes for each contestant and the bee champion, including: Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain Resort, Come Back Shack, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine, Dollywood, Grandfather Mountain, the Hickory Crawdads, Linville Caverns, Mystery Hill, Nascar SpeedPark and Tweetsie Railroad.
This year’s bee was also made possible by the work of a team of school personnel and volunteers. Jones along with Kim Hall of the central services team coordinated the logistics and planning for the WCS Spelling Bee, and school level coordinators oversaw the spelling bee competitions at each school.
Wayne Eberle, WCS director of accountability and school improvement, served as the pronouncer, while Assistant Superintendent Stephen Martin, Curriculum Specialist Betsy Furr and Watauga County Board of Education Vice Chair Brenda Reese served as the panel of judges.
With his victory at the county level, Nystrom will go on to represent the district at the regional level in the spring.