10/05/11 — Local spellers are C-H-A-M-P-S

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Local spellers are C-H-A-M-P-S

By Gary Popp
Published in News on October 5, 2011 1:46 PM

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Tyler Lutz, a fifth-grader at Grantham School, spells a word asked by Wayne Alley at the Spelling Bee at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair. Lutz tied for first place for his grade level.

Vermiculate. Alluviation. Lepidopterist. Sumptuous.

These are just some of the words that tested the spelling abilities of area 12th-graders at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair Spelling Bee Tuesday evening.

Wayne Christian School senior Daniel Glover earned top place among all spellers in his group.

After coming in second and third in the last two years, Daniel said he was very happy to finally come out on top in his last year of eligibility at the Spelling Bee.

"It feels great," he said. "It is a long time coming, I suppose."

Daniel said he thinks the fair's spelling bee is a positive event.

"I think it is a incentive to get kids to study up for spelling, and it really helps them writing papers and all that stuff when you get (in high school and college)," he said.

To become better spellers, Daniel said he would suggest younger spellers hit the books.

"Do a lot of reading because reading really helps with your spelling," he said.

The spelling competition included 61 kids from Wayne County schools, area private schools and home-school programs.

Hundreds packed into the fairgrounds' Entertainment Area to watch the contestants, who included fifth-graders through high school seniors.

The groups were divided by grades, and cash prizes were awarded to the top three spellers in each grade.

Fifth-grader Beverly Tabe was one of the top spellers in her group.

"I studied a lot with my parents. My mom and my dad supported me. They helped me, and we studied all the time," Beverly said.

A student at St. Mary School, Beverly said she was driven by her love of spelling and desire to support her school.

"I wanted to do this because I have never been in a spelling bee, and this is my first time. I have always loved spelling," she said.

For Grantham sixth-grader Rayce Gibson, winning top place was a bit of a surprise.

"I have always been interested in the Spelling Bee, so I entered it, and I got this far," he said.

Rayce said he first considered participating in the Spelling Bee this year after his teacher made a recommendation.

"I got a dictionary and just started going through the words and practicing them and got my parents to call out for me and I spell them," he said.

Rayce said he definitely wants to participate in future spelling bees and maybe even help his little sister take home a first-place prize one day.

McKenzie Tyree, a seventh-grader at Spring Creek High, won her division for the third consecutive year.

For this super speller, it is all about preparation.

"We go through a list of commonly misspelled words on seventh-grade spelling bee lists we find on the Internet," she said.

McKenzie said she has a secret to keep from getting nervous while spelling in front of the large crowd.

"There is a little note (on the stage) that says 'Smile and look at the judges,' but out of the corner of your eye you can still see everyone out there, so I kind of turn and look down into the microphone and talk into it," she said.

McKenzie said she always gets a lot of support from teachers and fellow students when she returns to school after winning the fair's spelling bee.

"Most of the (students) who really don't say anything to me will start cheering and everyone talks about it for the rest of the day," she said. "And, by the time I know it, ninth-, 10th-, 11th- graders will be coming up patting me on the back saying how well I did."