An eighth-grade girl won the spelling bee at Grand Coulee Dam Middle School last week, and will continue to the broader competition, which almost didn’t get organized at all.
Prevailing on the word “ecstatic,” Sydney Matheson won the local contest among a dozen of the school’s best spellers. Rylee Pitner, a sixth-grader, came in second on “envoy.”
Office Assistant Tammy Norris said the bee came together, despite being notified by Scripps National Spelling Bee that the past regional sponsor, The Wenatchee World, had dropped its sponsorship.
The Washington Apple Education Foundation stepped in, however, and a scaled-down schedule emerged. The new schedule eliminates the county bee entirely, Norris said. and this year’s spelling bee pitted the top spellers of each grade against each other, 5th-8th grade, who all did “a terrific job” Norris said.
Matheson and Pitner will head to the regional event at Eastmont Junior High School in East Wenatchee March 20.
Competitors at Grand Coulee Dam Middle School’s spelling bee this year, from left: Front Row- Yamni Blackbear-6th grade, Kourtney Harrington-7th, Hannah Wapato-5th, Haley Neddo-5th, Malcolm Carson, Jr.-6th. Back Row- Alexis Tanphantourath-8th, Olivia Arnold-7th, Jazmine Reed-7th, Sydney Matheson-8th, Lukas Hermetz-8th, Rylee Pitner-6th. — submitted photo