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Spellers Ready To Compete In Great Spelling Bee
Updated February 24, 2017 8:08 AM
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(PAOLI) - 24 students will compete in the Orange County Publishing Company's Great Spelling Bee Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Ruth Farlow Uyesugi Auditorium at Paoli Junior-Senior High School.

Advancing from Paoli Junior-Senior High School are Cager Anthony, Kizer Threlkeld, Amanda Bowles and Makiya Russelburg. All four students are in seventh grade. Throop Elementary School's Finalists are sixth graders Cora Austin and Caitlyn Taylor and fifth graders Braydon Crowder and Cameron Apple.

Advancing from Springs Valley Junior-Senior High School are seventh graders Kenton Albright and Brooklyn Carnes and sixth graders Michaela Albury and Lola Pantoja. Springs Valley Elementary's finalists are fifth graders Sean Baker and Ava Willett, fourth grader Hunter Carnes and third grader Josie Dixon.

Representing Orleans Junior-Senior High School will be Jackson Reynolds and Sam Carr, who are seventh graders, and eighth graders Breanna Berk and Isaac Emmons; and Orleans Elementary School, sixth grader Molley Parsley and Ian Hall, Mason Swayer and Jesse Mercer, who are all in fifth grade.

The countywide bee is also open to homeschoolers, who would have to pay the same fees as schools to enroll with the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but none elected to take part.

Now, the finalists are busy studying their word lists to prepare for their chance to be named the county's top speller and to advance on as one of the approximately 300 contestants in this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., the week of Memorial Day at the end of May.

The winner will follow in the footsteps of the 2015 Orange County Champion, Orleans eighth grader Matthew Ross, and the 2016 champion, Orleans seventh grader Dylan Reid.

Orange County Publishing Company Managing Editor Miles Flynn once again thanked the generous funding partners in the community who are making it possible for the local contest to enroll with the National Spelling Bee and for the champion and one parent or guardian to make the trip.

"We really can't say enough about the Orange County Community Foundation, Orange County REMC Operation Round Up, Old National Bank, Springs Valley Bank & Trust Company Indiana Natural Gas and Paoli Walmart," he commented. "It's clear how much value they place on Orange County's youth."

In addition to the trip, the local champion will also receive access to Britannica Online Premium and Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online, the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award with 2017 United States Mint proof set and finally a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

The runner-up will receive Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, and a $25 Amazon gift card.

Flynn will act as the reader for the contest. Judges will be Sarann Weeks of Paoli, Robert Henderson of Orleans and Todd Marshall of Springs Valley.

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