PREBLE COUNTY — After 24 rounds, Kaiden Webb, an eighth grade student at Eaton Middle School, was named the winner of the 2020 Preble County Spelling Bee presented by the Preble County Educational Service Center (ESC) on Thursday, Jan. 16.
Students qualify for the All-County Spelling Bee by placing either first or second in their school district’s spelling bee. Students are given words to spell and if they need clarification, they may ask for the word’s definition or to be used in a sentence prior to attempting to spell it. If the student spells the word incorrectly, they are finished at the end of that round. According to ESC’s Michelle Reynolds, the countywide spelling bee has been held annually for years.
Words are chosen by a list from spellingbee.com, which is run by the National Spelling Bee. NSB provides a word list every year all local spelling bees must use.
Students competing in the 2020 Preble County Spelling Bee included Breann Smith, Eaton Bruce Elementary; Webb; Brooklyn Holsapple, National Trail Elementary; Miles Roger, National Trail Middle School; Cooper Shrout, West Elkton Intermediate; Summer Wallace, Preble Shawnee Middle School; Kanoa Garcia, Tri-County North Elementary; Taylor Sheley, Tri-County North Middle; Rhett Emig, Twin Valley South Elementary; Nichole Koch, Twin Valley South Middle; Garrett Wright, Eaton Bruce Elementary; Ava Baker, Eaton Middle school; Nich Carroll-Silva, National Trail Elementary; Aiden Mathes, National Trail Middle School; Trent Geise, West Elkton Intermediate, Addy Pence, Preble Shawnee Middle School; Gabriel Corder, Tri-County North Elementary; Gabriel Curl, Tri-County North Middle; Tyler Wampler, Twin Valley South Elementary and Abby Crouse, Twin Valley South Middle.
A total of 182 words were spelled during the event. Among words missed were “refrain,” “abated,” and “messenger.”
“We had several students stay with it for several rounds, which is not always the case,” ESC Enrichment Coordinator Daryl Michael said.
Shrout won third place. He made it to the 18th round.
Roger won second place. He made it to the 23rd round, but went out after spelling “parcel” as “parcle.”
Webb won the All-County Spelling Bee in the 24th round. He had to spell “sheetrock” to win the last round and then spell correctly “equator” to win the event. He succeeded in both tasks.
Michael said, “Kaiden had a patient, methodical approach to spell each word.”
“I feel a little bit nervous, but it’s kind of good to have it over,” Webb said. “This is the second year I’ve won the county spelling bee. It feels like the first time wasn’t just a fluke. There was one word I couldn’t exactly remember at first, it was, ‘rookie,’ but then I thought for a second and figured it out.”
Reynolds congratulated all who competed for their hard work and dedication to “academic achievement.”
“The spelling bee is important for Preble County to have because it’s a competition that focuses and highlights academic achievements,” Reynolds said. “Kaiden and Miles were great competitors. I congratulate them and all of the participants on their efforts. Everyone did a wonderful job.”
Moving forward, there is an online test participants can take and based on their score, they can qualify for the National Spelling Bee. Webb will be taking the test in mid-February to see if he can qualify for regionals.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH