Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Katya Wheeler, left, and Mya Matecjek were the first and second place winners, respectively, in the Triton Middle School Spelling Bee last week. They will go on to compete at the Regional Spelling Bee in Rochester in February.

Triton sends 2 to Regional Spelling Bee

Seventeen Triton Middle School students gathered at the Middle School Library last week to compete in the district Spelling Bee. Thirteen rounds later, Katya Wheeler and Mya Matejcek placed first and second and earned a trip to the Regional contest on Feb. 11 in Rochester.

The rules for the Bee were quite simple.

Going from one student to another around the room, Tricia Himlie, the Bee coordinator, would give the student a word. The student would stand, say the word, spell the word, say it again and sit down. Haley Rossi, the co-coordinator, would indicate whether the word was spelled correctly by holding up a green card or incorrectly with a red card.

Before spelling the word a student could ask for it to be repeated or used in a sentence.

A misspelled word eliminated the student from the competition. Each participant received a different word.  When a round was completed, those who correctly spelled their word continued to the next round where the process was repeated with the words getting progressively more difficult.

There was no limit to the number of rounds, Himlie told the students at the beginning of the competition. It could go three rounds or 10 or more, depending how long it took to get down to the top two winners.

By Round 13, the competition had been whittled down to two students, Matejcek and Wheeler. Matejcek was the first to go in the round with the word manganese. She misspelled it and was given a red card. As it was the last round, Wheeler had the opportunity to spell the same word. When she received the green card, she was named the first place winner of the event.

Jaoquin Lundi, an eighth-grader, was the third-place runner-up and will be the alternate Triton contestant at the Regionals.

Before the competition students were given a list of 375 words that could be used in the Bee, Himlie said. It was open to students in fifth through eighth grade.

The Regional competition will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Feb. 11 at the Southeast Service Cooperative in Rochester.



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