Kayla Belk, a seventh grader at DeKalb Middle School, won the 10th annual DeKalb County Spelling Bee Monday night at the county complex auditorium.
Belk, the 12 year old daughter of ChrisAnne Belk and Andrew Fults of Smithville was among forty students from the fourth grade to the eighth grade who participated in the contest.
Eleven year old Holly Evans, a fifth grader at DeKalb West School, was the runner-up. She is the daughter of Mike and Amy Evans of Alexandria.
Belk and Evans were the last two contestants in the sixth round. Evans misspelled the word "trek" which opened the door for Belk to claim the championship by correctly spelling the next two works "gardenia" in the sixth round and "futon" in the seventh round.
Students from DeKalb Middle School, DeKalb West School, and Northside Elementary School recently competed at the school level to become eligible for the county competition. Along with winners in thirty-nine other counties, Belk and Evans will compete in the Middle Tennessee Regional Spelling Bee sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University. The regional bee will take place on Saturday, March 2 at 9:30 a.m. at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. The winner of the Regional Spelling Bee will compete in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.
(VIEW THE ENTIRE SPELLING BEE BY PLAYING THE VIDEO BELOW)
The purpose in sponsoring the County Wide Spelling Bee is to "help students improve Spelling skills, increase vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives".
Participants in this year's County Wide Spelling Bee were:
Cayden Kyle, Jordan Crook, Holly Evans, Ashton Sensing, Phillip Coats, Jaime Alexander, Cody Hale, Jayra Plattenburg, Casey Vickers, Jacob Billings, Rosa Payne, and Paige Snyder
Briona Agee, Alexis Cudney, Julia Curtis, Yessi Dragustinovis, Kenzie France, Skylar Fuson
Kiersten Griffith, Savannah Jackson, Duncan Johnson, Karly Knowles, Raiden Martin, Makenzie Poss, Laynie Rippee, Carly Vance, Justin Washer, MyKenzie Wilson, and Jayden Worley
Kayla Belk, Timothy Cassinera, Baylie Davis, Malone Fletcher, Olivia Fuson, Kyle Justice, Reagan Patton, Skylar Pease, Ashley Phillips, Alec Reynolds, and Alyssa Sewell.
Twenty four students made it to the second round including Rosa Payne, Duncan Johnson, Cayden Kyle, Yessi Dragustinovis, Raiden Martin, Alec Reynolds, Jordan Crook, Karly Knowles, Makenzie Poss, Alyssa Sewell, Olivia Fuson, Malone Fletcher, Jayden Worley, Paige Snyder, Holly Evans, Justin Washer, Briona Agee, Kayla Belk, Ashton Sensing, Kiersten Griffith, Skylar Pease, Julia Curtis, Ashley Phillips, and Carly Vance.
Eleven students advanced to the third round including Duncan Johnson, Yessi Dragustinovis, Alec Reynolds, Olivia Fuson, Paige Snyder, Holly Evans, Justin Washer, Kayla Belk, Skylar Pease, Ashley Phillips, and Carly Vance.
Six students competed in the fourth round including Duncan Johnson, Yessi Dragustinovis, Olivia Fuson, Holly Evans, Justin Washer, and Kayla Belk.
The fifth round featured five students, Duncan Johnson, Olivia Fuson, Holly Evans, Justin Washer, and Kayla Belk.
The sixth round was narrowed to two spellers, Holly Evans and Kayla Belk
Belk claimed the championship in the seventh and final round.