Last Updated on November 4, 2022 11:57 am
BOONE — Parkway Eighth Grader Keith Tu correctly spelled the word “Communion” in the 10th round to secure victory in the Watauga County Schools district-wide spelling bee held Nov. 4 at the Margaret Gragg Education Center in Boone.
The top-speller in each school was invited to attend the competition held at the WCS central office. This year’s contestants were: Madison Presnell of Bethel, Harry Cleveland of Blowing Rock, Kira Minor of Cove Creek, Allison Hansil of Green Valley, Maggie Kelley of Hardin Park, Cassidy Booker of Mabel, Keith Tu of Parkway and Tessa Gragg of Valle Crucis and Leoria Davenport of the Watauga Virtual Academy.
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 recognize the incredible work put forth by all these students from each school,” Jones said. “It’s no small feat to take home the victory in your school spelling bee and to make it to the district bee. I’m so grateful to all of these students for representing their schools so well. I would also like to thank Skyline/Skybest and Carolina West Wireless who do so much to support us and make the spelling bee possible.”
The 2022 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: The Boone Chamber of Commerce, Grandfather Mountain, The Hickory Crawdads, Tweetise Railroad and Wendy’s.
The spelling bee was also made possible by the work of a team of school personnel and volunteers. Jones along with Kim Hall and Emily Younce 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 Director of School and District Improvement Dr. Besty Furr, Watauga High School Assistant Principal Rachel Shepherd and Boone Chamber of Commerce CEO David Jackson served as the panel of judges.
With his victory at the county level, Tu will be eligible to represent the district at the regional level in the spring.
This year’s contestants were: Madison Presnell of Bethel, Harry Cleveland of Blowing Rock, Kira Minor of Cove Creek, Allison Hansil of Green Valley, Maggie Kelley of Hardin Park, Cassidy Booker of Mabel, Keith Tu of Parkway and Tessa Gragg of Valle Crucis and Leoria Davenport of the Watauga Virtual Academy.
Watauga County Schools district spelling bee winner Keith Tu with Superintendent Scott Elliott and Parkway Principal Patty Buckner.