The Southeastern Utah Regional Spelling Bee was held on March 11 at Green River High. Winners from the local schools competed at their district spelling bees and then first, second and third place winners were then sent on to the regionals. JJ Grant works for the Southeastern Education Service Center and their organization is the host for the spelling bee. The winner of the competition in Green River will receive an all expense paid trip for two to attend the National Spelling bee the end of May. Not only winners from the United States go to Washington to participate, but spellers from Samoa, Guam, the Bahamas, China, South Korea and other countries also send winners. The national spelling bee has been held since 1925. There hasn't been a winner from Utah to date at the national bee.
The contest begins with round one where all the spellers spell a word. At the end of the round any speller with an incorrect spelling of a word would take their seat in the audience. This day in Green River the spelling was intense and went 50 rounds before a first, second and third place was determined.
The spellers were instructed to make sure they understood the pronunciation of the word. They could ask for the part of speech for the word, word origin and for the word to be used in a sentence. Grant pointed out, "It's the spellers job to know the word. If you start to spell a word, and then stop, it must be repeated back in the same order. Speak clearly and take your time, don't get nervous. You are all winners."
Grant introduced the judges for the event including Kady Mecham, Green River Sterling Scholar, Johnna Boyack, office manager for the service center, Jared Black, business administrator for Emery School District and Larry Davis, principal Emery High was the pronouncer for the event.
Grant then introduced the spellers, all winners at the district level. From Creekview-Paul Bryner; Wellington-Jordan Mills and Cameron Mogensen; from Canyon View Junior High-Shaydee Murray; Cleveland Elementary-Nicole Huntsman; HM Knight-Jonathan Park, Alexa Pierce, Jessica Smith; AR Lyman-Kira Simpson, Eli Beck; Blanding Elementary-Jared Ward; Pinnacle Academy-Katie Reynolds, John Muselmann and McKenna Bair.
The spelling began in earnest and when the dust settled it was Shaydee Murray in third place, Kira Simpson in second place and Eli Beck in first place. Simpson was the winner in last year's bee and represented Utah at the national bee. Beck this year will have the opportunity to compete in Washington DC.
Murray spelled words like grotto, renovate, caribou, iguana, finale, feldspar, synchronize, azimuth, ephemeral, camouflage and others.
Simpson spelled the words, forlorn, foyer, croquette, ravioli, babushka, ambiguity, aristocracy, obstinate, azure, ominous, salmonella, elixir, provolone, antipasto, periphery, pasteurize, opossum, anomaly, hollandaise, recalcitrant, efficacy, charlatan, sachem, prerogative, hyperbole, sentry and the word that Simpson misspelled was uppitiness. The correct spelling is uppityness.
Beck the spelling champ for the day spelled apricot, dross, souvenir, pragmatic, cadenza, orthodox, sukiyaki, adjacent, allegory, patriarch, homogeneous, poltergeist, flamboyant, bellicose, ephiphany, Cossack, camphor, marzipan, heifer, rapport, maelstrom, zinnia, precipice, vernacular, serendipity, indigenous, saboteur, innocuous, dynamo, aviator, heron and the word Beck spelled in the 50th round to crown him the winner was aptitude.
Grant passed out several awards to the students who participated. The winners each received a trophy and gift certificates to Amazon and a dictionary.
Beck will now begin to prepare for his trip to Washington D.C. for Bee Week 2010 May 31-June 5.