Defending champion wins Floyd County Schools’ spelling bee

December 15, 2020–7:50 p.m.


Model Middle School sixth-grader Will Hosford correctly spelled “inexorably” and then “Ganges” to win the Floyd County Schools’ District Spelling Bee Tuesday morning at Coosa High School’s Performing Arts Center. Will was also the winner of last year’s district bee. Eleven Floyd County students put their spelling skills to the test in the annual competition sponsored by the Floyd County Chapter of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) and Communities in Schools Rome-Floyd (CIS). Pepperell Middle School sixth-grader Caedmon Burnett won second place and will serve as the alternate for Floyd County Schools (FCS) at the next level of competition. Will will represent FCS next at the GAE Region 1 Spelling Bee on Saturday, February 27, 2021, at Georgia Highlands College Lakeview Building.

Will said he felt really happy about winning two years in a row and attributed his success to his grandmother who practiced with him often.

Each elementary and middle school sent its school-level winner and/or alternate to the FCS’ District Spelling Bee in hopes of taking home the title and a chance to advance to the regional competition. Students in grades 4-8 are eligible for the competition. The group of spellers went through ten rounds of words before a champion was declared in the event, four rounds were performed before naming the two finalists. Lasting for less than a half-hour, the bee was short and included tricky words like “grimaces,” “colonel,” “unsullied,” and “disgorged.”

The event is sponsored each year by the Floyd County Chapter of the Georgia Association of Educators and CIS. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, the event was moved to Coosa High School’s Performing Arts Center where the small audience was spaced out significantly could practice social distancing. Masks were required for all in attendance. Each participant could remove their mask when it was their turn to spell.

FCS Spelling Bee Coordinator and FCS ELA Specialist Barbara Neslin welcomed the audience and spellers on behalf of the system, then read the rules and explained the process of the bee; Coosa Middle School Reading Interventionist Shannon Pollitz was the pronouncer of the words; FCS Director of Federal Programs Dr. Laura Timberlake and FCS Fine Arts Coordinator Sherry Childs served as spotters and proctors (assisting speller advocates in the event of a question, as well as making sure the audience did not mouth letters to contestants); and FCS Gifted Teacher Allison Espy, FCS Child Nutrition Director Donna Carver, and Gifted Teacher Apryl Hawkins served as judges.

School Spelling Bee winners who participated in the county bee:

Alto Park Elementary- Kaelyn Vasquez

Armuchee Elementary- Bayleigh Fortenberry

Armuchee Middle- Abbie Carson

Cave Spring Elementary- Estoria Carrier

Coosa Middle- Gavin Williams

Garden Lakes Elementary- Chloe Stover

Johnson Elementary- Nick Hosford

Model Elementary- Shepherd Quarles

Model Middle- Will Hosford

Pepperell Elementary- Danny Wilson

Pepperell Middle- Caedmon Burnett

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