After a thrilling 33 round contest, seventh grader Josephine Hovis emerged triumphant as the Cooperstown Middle School Scripps Spelling Bee Champion.
“It doesn’t usually go for that long,” said Chalya Pudlewski, the seventh grade English teacher at CCS, who helped to organize the competition.
Indeed, Principal Michael Cring announced after the contest that it had gone on for more rounds than any in the school’s history.
The spelling bee, held in the CCS middle/high school auditorium, featured five eighth graders and five seventh graders.
The eighth graders were Owen Carr, Thomas Knight, Wriley Nelson, Pierce Snyder and Shane Tang while the seventh graders were Josephine Hovis, Nicole Lionetti, Abigail Makofske, Kyle Meyer and Nathaniel Miller.
The selection of these students began in October, when everyone in the eighth grade class competed in a spelling bee and everyone in the seventh grade class competed in a separate spelling bee.
The top 10 finishers in the seventh grade then competed against each another while the top 10 ten finishers in the eighth grade did the same in the second round, to determine the five students in each class who would have the privilege of competing for the title.
On Thursday, Dec. 5, the auditorium was packed for the final contest, mostly as a result of both the entire eighth and seventh grade class being in attendance.
The rules of the competition were simple. Each student went up to the microphone, and was asked to spell a word by Principal Cring. Each student could get one word wrong, but a second misspelled word would result in their elimination. Students were allowed to ask the principal to repeat the word, ask for a definition, ask for the word’s origin, and ask to use it in a sentence.
Also, if no student got a word right in a round, no student would be eliminated that round.