The Cultural Arts’ Center hosted our annual Cary Elementary Scripps School Bee this past week. As mentioned previously, our third through fifth graders competed their way through class and grade level bees to earn their positions as school bee finalists. As such, they were awarded medals to recognize this accomplishment. We had fifteen students earn this honor:
Our third graders: Veera Changela, Audrey Fitch, Ava Koren, Zaki Rasoulyan, and Zoe Zein
Our 4th Graders: Rose Burns, Qais Dezendorf, Natalie Elrod, Ariana Estrela, Caitlyn Russell
Our 5th Graders: Dorn Fitch, Lizzy Kudlak, Brandon Ornelas, Audrey Smith, and Zoe Strother
Congratulations again to all of the above for making it to the “big stage!”
Right before Winter Break, the finalists were provided the official Scripps study list for the competition. The study guide provides 450 words, ranging from first through ninth grade levels.
For those who have watched, or participated in, spelling bees, it’s known that the intensity can be felt within the room. This year’s competition was fierce. When the official Scripps list was used up, there were still four children standing. This is the first time this has happened in CES history. The students’ looks of shock and confusion was apparent on their faces, but they gathered their composure and spelled on, as the word reader continued from the random “dictionary” list she had provided her. From that point on, the words were not studied by the competitors and it was up to their sheer ability and focus to stay in the competition.
In the end, we achieved another believed mark of CES history: a third grader was our champion for the first time! Congratulations to Zoe Zein for outlasting six rounds of dictionary words, beyond the provided Scripps list! Her winning word was “visionary.” But it’s to be noted, this was not provided for in a study guide, unlike the many challenging study words used earlier in the competition that fell from a range of: even, radar, shriek, spectators, fulcrum, martyr, diminutive, gondolier, treacle, ligatures, balustrades, Leipzig, jacquerie, to auf Wiedersehen.
Congratulations also to Brandon Ornelas, from 5th grade, who fell just shy of first place in a back and forth survival battle round where both top competitors missed one word in the dictionary portion, but earned a very much applauded 2nd place. He fell to the word “jackdaw.”
Also, Rose Burns, from 4th grade, earned third place for the second year in a row, falling out on the word “grimace.”
The competition this year was indeed impressive! And the composure the students maintained was astounding.
Zoe has earned the right to compete at the Regional Level of the Scripps Spelling Bee, which will be held in March at NC State. This level of competition requires memorization of a provided word bank of over 1600 words from many international origins, dictionary words, and the knowledge of definitions (provided words and random dictionary) in both written and oral rounds of competition and testing. The winner of this competition goes on to compete at Nationals in DC, where the final rounds are aired on ESPN. Best wishes Zoe!!
Thank you to Lisa Dove (IRT) for organizing and running the Scripps bees, in all of the phases. Thanks to Mrs. Claggett for returning to be our “word pronouncer,” once again! And thank you to Mrs. Bookman (K) and Mrs. Keadle (2nd) for hanging in there after a long day of school to be on our judges’ panel! Parents, siblings, friends, teachers, and classmates, thank you for being our finalists’ study partners and offering support and encouragement for an event that requires them to go “above and beyond” when it comes to amount of effort put in to preparation. Without all of you, we could not make this a successful event. It is the PTA’s honor and privilege to sponsor this competition.