Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top Spellers Ready to Strut Their Stuff at State Championships

If someone asked you to spell "vinculum," "doronicum," or "lignify," would you know how, or know what they meant? Chances are your spell check wouldn’t know these either. Well get ready, because these and other “household” words will be gliding from the tongues of 20 of Georgia's finest spellers during the Georgia Association of Educators' (GAE) State Spelling Bee. Celebrating its 48th year, the Bee will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, March 20, 2009, at Georgia State University’s Student Center’s Senate Ballroom.

The following are the nine [GAE] districts’ and the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) winners and runners-up:

District/Local Winners/Runners-up Grade/ School Age
1 W / Bartow Mallory Fleming 8 / South Central Middle 14
1 R / Cartersville City Alec Barger 8 / Cartersville Middle 14
2 W / Marietta City Katie Ault 6 / Marietta 6th Grade Acad. 12
2 R / Cherokee Marian Baker 8 / Freedom Middle 14
3 W / Gwinnett Angela Mo 7 / Creekland Middle 12
3 R/ Hall Parker Ramey 6 / C W Davis Middle 11
4 W / Fulton Ranjani Sundaresan 6 / Webb Bridge Middle 11
4 R / DeKalb Simola Nayak 5 / Hawthorne Elementary 10
5 W / Clayton Tanaeya W. McCoy 7 / Lovejoy Middle 13
5 R / Bremen City Sarah Landman 8 / Bremen Middle 14
6 W / Houston Auburn Davidson 7 / Bonaire Middle 13
6 R / Troup Anna Taylor 8 / Long Cane Middle 13
7 W / Home School Noah Weinrich 7 / Learning Grove Home 12
7 R / Twiggs Jassaray Jordan 8 / Twiggs County Middle 13
8 W/ Atkinson Joel Witherspoon 8 / Atkinson County High 14
8 R / Chatham Christopher J. Alexander 6 / Oglethorpe Charter 11
9 W / Lowndes Alexandra Wang 8 / Hahira Middle 13
9 R / Colquitt Philip Long 8 / Charlie A. Gray Middle 13
GISA / W Julia Denniss 6 / St. Jude the Apostle 12
GISA / R Caroline Todd 8/ LaGrange Academy 14
*Georgia Independent School Association (GISA)

The one student who emerges from this inspirational contest will be crowned the Georgia Association of Educators' (GAE) State Spelling Bee champion and will represent the state in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., May 24-30, 2009.

“Forty-eight years has not diminished the excitement and anticipation of just what these young people are about to experience,” said GAE President Jeff Hubbard. “The dedication and perseverance they’ve shown to get to this point already makes them champions. Contests, such as this, serve to show just what our children are capable of in school as long as they, and their support system, provide the tools necessary to obtain it. Everyone involved with them being here should be very proud.”

“I’d also like to congratulate all of the children who simply took the time to participate at every level of bee,” exclaimed Hubbard. “Whether they won or didn’t quite make it to their goal, just participating in the process hopefully taught them something about sportsmanship and that oftentimes it’s about enjoying the journey.”

The state championship bee is sponsored by GAE, whose members on the front line work compassionately from the school level to the state championship. “I would be remised if I did not thank all of our members who took the time to lead these efforts throughout the state,” Hubbard said. “While this is truly a labor of love because of the children, coordinating and managing these bees to ensure fairness and timeliness is no small task.”

The Bee, once again, will have the following accomplished panel of judges and callers:

Mr. Barry Gray, Principal, Slaton Properties, LLC
Mr. Arthur George, Retired Educator, Fulton County Schools
Ms. Cheryl Sarvis, Retired Principal, Atlanta City Schools

Ms. Lyn Vaughn Vann, Special Projects Producer/Host, Office of Broadcast/Cable
Dr. Philo Hutcheson, Associate Professor, Georgia State University

GAE would like to thank the following businesses and organizations for their contributions: Encyclopedia Britannica, Merriam Webster, Inc., Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, and Scripps National Spelling Bee. Also, special thanks to Georgia State University for its continued support over the years.

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