Alder speller takes top prize

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Messenger photos by Kristy Zurbrick

The top finishers by grade level in the oral spelldown at the Madison County Spelling Bee were: (from left) Brendan Wilson, fifth grade; Kassie Harper, sixth grade; Justin Byers, seventh grade; and Ben Rohrig, eighth grade. Rohrig was the oral spelling bee champion. Byers was the runner-up.

 
The grade-level winners of the Madison County Spelling Bee written test were: (from left) Lilly Watters, fifth grade; Carrie Winstead, sixth grade; Derek Richardson, seventh grade; and Katherine Collins, eighth grade.

Students from four grade levels in four school districts came together on Feb. 11 for the Madison County Spelling Bee. From this diverse group, Jonathan Alder Junior High eighth-grader Ben Rohrig emerged as the victor. Appropriately enough, his winning word was "mosaic."

The competition, held at Tolles Career & Technical Center in Plain City, started in the afternoon with the written test. Top spellers from fifth through eighth grade in the Jefferson, Jonathan Alder, Madison-Plains and St. Patrick school districts participated.

The fifth- and sixth-graders spelled 15 beginning words and 15 intermediate words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee manual. The seventh- and eighth-graders spelled 10 beginning, 10 intermediate and 10 advanced words. The top five scorers in each grade in the written test moved on to the oral spelling contest, which was held in the evening and was open to the public.

The packed house remained respectfully silent through six rounds and 88 words that ranged from "pecan" and "walrus" to "reciprocal" and "fictitious." Among the words that tripped up the young spellers were "autonomy," "ceremoniously," "colloquial," "debris," "gulag," "penicillin" and "vicious."

As the champion, Rohrig advances to the regional spelling bee on March 8 at Fort Hayes in Columbus. As the runner-up, Jonathan Alder Junior High seventh-grader Justin Byers is Rohrig’s alternate.

The students who participated in the oral spelldown (and how they placed in the written test) are as follows:

o Fifth-graders—Lilly Watters (first), Emily Harden (second) and Jacob McCandlish (third), all of Norwood Elementary, West Jefferson; Dylan Wildman (fourth) and Brendan Wilson (fifth), both of Canaan Middle School at Jonathan Alder.

o Sixth-graders—Carrie Winstead (first) and Kassie Harper (second), both of West Jefferson Middle School; Poorva Patel of Madison-Plains Middle School and Nick Beachy of Canaan, (tied for third); Dillon Miller of Canaan (fourth).

o Seventh-graders—Derek Richardson (first), Madison-Plains Middle; Madison Androw (second), Jonathan Alder Junior High; Tanya Semenishin and Justin Byers, Jonathan Alder Junior High (tied for third); Kelly Croghan (fourth), Madison-Plains Middle.

o Eighth-graders—Katherine Collins (first) and Angelic Sagraves (second), West Jefferson Middle; Ben Rohrig (third), Jonathan Alder Junior High; Mackenzie Walters (fourth), Madison-Plains Middle; (tied for fifth) Salena Stewart and Erin Phillips of Madison-Plains Middle and Abbie Wihl of West Jefferson Middle.

The Madison County Elementary Principals’ Association sponsors the annual spelling bee.

Words spelled in the 2008 Madison County Spelling Bee

(* Words misspelled by contestants)

cosmos

pecan

unity

message*

salami

inferno

average

walrus

orthodox

tattle

hickory 

nosiest

decoy

bungalow

sarcasm*

dairy

typhoon

chronic

expertise

dungaree

implement

confetti 

filibuster*

sequin

ominous

democracy

imperative

protagonist

enchilada

consensus

toboggan

melancholy

barrage 

hygiene

amicable

ablatross

benevolent*

colloquial*

gulag

stomach

witness*

horrible

poison

sausage 

coward

lunar*

patient

kangaroo

republic

wrinkle

lizard

parcel*

pleasant*

flannel

nonreturnable 

burglar

vinegar

stubborn

citizen

wreckage*

temporary

clearance

scissors

cheddar

murmur

oxygen 

doubtful
vicious*
caramel
chisel
venomous
accurate
bankruptcy
autonomy*
omission*
bilingual
acquaintance*
 
participle

irresponsible

counterfeit*

fictitious*

penicillin*

reciprocal*

ceremoniously*

debris*

suffrage

unaninmous*

mosaic 

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