Regional Spelling Bee Champion to Advance to National Competition
The fourth time was the charm for River Blount, a home schooled sixth-grader from Annapolis who won the sixth annual Three Rivers College Southeast Missouri Regional Spelling Bee held Feb. 28.
Blount correctly spelled “adjudicate” in the 12th round of the regional event to earn a trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will be held in Washington, D.C., May 24-29.
“I studied really hard the last few weeks, just practicing and practicing,” Blount said. “I’m really excited about winning and about going to Washington.”
Three Rivers began holding the Regional Spelling Bee in 2009 to provide area students with an official qualifying event for the national competition. Students in grades 1-8 travel from across Southeast Missouri to represent their schools and compete for the right to move on to the nationals. The College raises funds to pay for the winner and a family member to go to the national contest.
“We’re always proud to host these amazing spellers from across our region,” said Mark Sanders, chair of the Languages Department at Three Rivers and the coordinator for the regional spelling bee. “The spelling bee is a unique way that we reach out to our extended Southeast Missouri community.
Other top winners at the Regional Spelling Bee were Justin Ray Samanta of Trinity Lutheran School in Cape Girardeau, second place; and Andrea DeYong of Immaculate Conception School in Jackson, third place.
There were 56 contestants who qualified for the Regional Spelling Bee, representing 20 schools in Southeast Missouri.
Contestants by county and schools represented were:
Butler County: Neelyville Elementary School: Madison Parish, Alyssa Wilson, Azhia Campbell; Poplar Bluff 5&6 Grade Center: JaDarius Pigg, Emma Sutton, Gavin Vaughn; Poplar Bluff Junior High: Megan Kirby; Ross Dare, Brianna Hatley; Sacred Heart School, Poplar Bluff: Lily Soeter, Gabriela Rivetti, Nayeli Cerda; Westwood Baptist Academy, Poplar Bluff: Mekynna Hays, Adeeti Mishra, Auna Tayloe.
Cape Girardeau County: Altenburg Elementary School, Cape Girardeau: Mattie Bowyer, Analeigh Cairns, Madison Mueller; Delta Elementary School: Lauren Crutsinger, Zachary Graham, Emily Landewee; Immaculate Conception School, Jackson: Andrea DeYong, Allison Appleman, Aaron Deken; Nell Holcomb Elementary School: Mara Murphy, Phillip Babers, Denetria Collier; Trinity Lutheran School, Cape Girardeau: Justin Ray Samanta.
Carter County: East Carter Middle School, Ellsinore: Betsy Scott, Brett O’Dell, Libby Scott.
Iron County: Pineywoods Christian Academy, Annapolis: River Blount.
Perry County: St. Vincent De Paul Junior High, Perryville: Isaac Layton, Kaede Nishida, Chance Neumann.
Ripley County: Doniphan 5th & 6th Grade: Hailey Morano, Kristina Perren, Madison Sisco.
Doniphan 7th & 8th Grade: Cadey Eatherton, Alyssa Roberts, Macy Baugh.
St. Francois County: St. Joseph Catholic School, Farmington: Jamie O’Hara, Kassandra Ramos, Brayden Armes.
Scott County: The Christian Academy, Sikeston: Lonnie Lejeune, Claire Whitehead, Grace Hester.
Stoddard County: Bernie Junior High: Emma Dawson, Devin Barnes, Nia Walker.
Wayne County: Greenville Elementary School: William Wyatt Friley, Victoria Holman, Harlie Rainwater; Williamsville Elementary School: Clay Steward, Kaytlinn Estes, Abbigail Hillis.
To learn more about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, visit www.spellingbee.com for competitor bios, television broadcast schedules, the rules and regulations of the competition, and more. For more information on the Southeast Missouri Regional Spelling Bee, contact Mark Sanders at 573-840-9618, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For updates on River Blount’s progress at the national spelling bee, visit the Three Rivers College Facebook Page at facebook.com/threeriverscollege.
Three Rivers College is committed to contributing to the quality of life in Southeast Missouri with quality, affordable higher education opportunities and community services that support and encourage the economic, civic, and cultural vitality of the region. For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit trcc.edu.