TMS seventh-grader gets third in local spelling bee
Before school starts on most Monday and Wednesday mornings you can find Mallory Harrell and other Tonganoxie Middle School students practicing spelling with Marilyn Daniels, the seventh grade language arts teacher.
All of that extra work paid off for the TMS seventh-grader who placed third among the 28 other seventh-graders from seven different schools who competed at the Feb. 12, Kaw Valley Spelling Bee held at the middle school.
"My friends thought it was pretty cool," Harrell said about her victory. "The other kids in the class were really supportive."
Out of the total 56 students who competed in the bee, the Lansing Middle School and the Basehor-Linwood Middle School were able to place two top-six winners in both the eight and seventh grade categories. Harrell was the only winner from Tonganoxie in either category, even beating Tanner Smith, the TMS eight-grader who took second place at the Leavenworth County Spelling Bee. Smith was eliminated in the preliminary written competition.
Daniels said every year was different and that is just how it goes sometimes.
"That's the way it is. You just get that one word and you miss that one letter that can kill you," she said.
The 56 competitors began the day with a breakfast pizza meal in the TMS commons area before they moved into written competition.
The written portion consisted of 10-word rounds, which eliminated all but six students. Those six students would then compete in the oral spelling bee.
"It was our best pitted against their best," Daniels said.
This year's top winners were eight-grader Parker Riley, Lexington Trails Middle School, and seventh-grader Rachael Koone, Lansing Middle School. Koone was the winner of the Leavenworth County Spelling Bee and will participate in a regional competition in March sponsored by the Great Bend Tribune.
Although TMS wasn't able to secure a first-place win, Daniels and TMS Principal Jill Dickerson were hopeful for next and were happy with their performance this year.
"We've got some good talent here," Dickerson said.
2008 Kaw Valley League Spelling Bee winners
1. Parker Riley, Lexington Trails
2. Jack Klapper, Piper
3. Elena Cleaves, Lansing
4. Ana Hobbs, Lansing
5. Kodi Smith, Basehor-Linwood
6. Marcas Box, Basehor-Linwood
1. Rachael Koone, Lansing
2. Billy Trout, Basehor-Linwood
3. Mallory Harrell, Tonganoxie
4. Sam Sheaks, Lansing
5. George Davis, Basehor-Linwood
6. Sarah Pestock, Piper