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'T-o-m-a-h-a-w-k'

Mattie Lively student Austin wins Bulloch spelling bee

'T-o-m-a-h-a-w-k'

'T-o-m-a-h-a-w-k'

While Mattie Lively Elementary School...


Editor's note: This article has been revised to reflect the following correction, which appears in Wednesday's print edition. Because of a writer's error, the announcer of the Bulloch County Spelling Bee's job was incorrectly identified in a front-page article Tuesday. Susan Manack is a counselor at Sallie Zetterower Elementary. The Statesboro Herald regrets the error.

BROOKLET — Michael Austin, a 10-year-old, fifth-grade student from Mattie Lively Elementary School, won the 2014 Bulloch County Spelling Bee Monday night at the Southeast Bulloch High School auditorium. 

“I’m excited to be the victor,” Austin said with a grin as he clinched his trophy and a $100 check.  “It took a lot of hard work and studying.” 

He will advance to the District 8 Spelling Bee to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 1, at the Waycross Campus of South Georgia State College.

Austin claimed the win against his remaining opponent, Rachel Middleton of Brooklet Elementary School. 

Middleton, an 11-year-old fifth grader, challenged Austin for seven, two-person rounds before she incorrectly spelled “armistice.”  Austin, under the two-person rule structure, both correctly spelled that word and his new word, “tomahawk.”

The two received certificates, medals, and trophies. Middleton also received a $50 prize.

Bulloch County Board of Education Chairman Maurice Hill presented the awards and certificates to the winners and participants.    

“I’d like to thank all of these students and their parents for being here tonight,” Hill said.

The group of 13 participants was composed of eight boys and five girls, who ranged from fourth through eighth grades, and represented Bulloch County Schools’ nine elementary and four middle schools.

They began with the word “podium” and competed for 24 minutes spelling words announced by Susan Manack, a counselor at Sallie Zetterower Elementary School, before Austin and Middleton were left as the final two participants.

The event was sponsored and organized by the local chapter of the Georgia Association of Educators. 

Judges for this year’s event were: Cheri Wagner, the District 1 Board of Education member; Steve Hein, the District 4 board member; and Kristell Jones-Turner, a teacher at the district’s Transitions Learning Center.

This year’s Bulloch County Spelling Bee Leadership Team was:  Ardrena Jackson, president;   Joanne Newland. Chianti Culver; Twindell Darlington;  Sherry Canty; Hattie Davis;  Joyce Simmons; and Beth Persinger.

“I think all these students now see that hard work really does pay off,” Hein joked after the winners received their monetary awards.

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