HC Spelling Bee attracts 6 returning competitors

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Of the 14 students competing in this year’s Hopkins County Spelling Bee, six are veteran competitors, including two of the top three from the 2006 match.

Only fifth through eighth grade students may qualify to compete in the event, with the cream of the crop from each county school qualifying to compete.

Both of Sulphur Springs Middle School’s contestants were among last year’s top three finishers. 2006 HCSB Champ Cydnee Devereaux will be making her third appearance this year, and as a seventh grader could feasibly compete one more year, provided she makes the top two cut at her school next year.

Ashley Clegg, although competing only for the second consecutive year, represents fierce competition as the third-place finisher in 2006. As an SSMS sixth grader she potentially could compete for two additional years.

This year also marks Cumby junior high student Courtney Crumpton’s third year to compete, and is also Cumby seventh-grader Courtney Salinas second consecutive year.

Competing for the second consecutive year are Como-Pickton seventh-grader Kaitlyn Hankins and North Hopkins sixth-grader Cody Nix. Hankins could go one more year, while Nix has potential to compete at the county bee for two more years.

Also among the top students qualifying to compete in this year’s HCSB are three eighth graders, two fifth graders, two sixth graders and another seventh grader. 

Eighth graders qualifying to compete in the March 1 county spell off are North Hopkins’ Tyler Daehn, and Saltillo’s Ryan Shores and Brooke Lane. The only other seventh grader qualifying to compete is Como-Pickton’s Arianna Leigh-Manuel.  Rounding out the competition will be Cumby Elementary sixth graders Harleigh Maddox and Brandon Jones, and Douglas Intermediate fifth graders Karl Sehnert and Shakoja Mosley.

The winner of the county spelling bee will advance to the regional Dallas Morning News Spelling Bee. The winner of the regional contest will advance to the national competition held annually in Washington, D.C. Should the winner of the county bee for any reason not be able to attend the regional meet, the student finishing second in the county be will advance from alternate status to compete at regional.

Community members are welcome to attend the Hopkins County Spelling be Thursday, March 1, but should note that it is important not to be noisy as the speller’s will need to be able to concentrate on the words they are spelling. The county spell off will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the board room at Sulphur Springs Independent School District Administration Building, located at 631 Connally St.

For more information about the Hopkins County Spelling Bee contact Connie Mabe, SSISD Director of Elementary Education, at 903-885-2153.

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