Madison Paxton now possesses the coveted first place in the Clay County Spelling Bee after correctly spelling the word “possess” for the win. Twenty elementary students from Clay, H.E. White, Lizemores and Big Otter elementary schools spelled their way through an astounding 36 rounds of words before a winner was named at this year’s Clay County Spelling Bee on Thursday. It took over two hours, but one by one an incorrect vowel was added or a consonant was repeated and the number of competitors slowly dwindled until only one remained standing. “This is the strongest group of spellers we’ve seen in a long time.” said coordinator Randy White. “We are very proud of each and every one of them. They did a fantastic job.”
Joining Madison as top finishers was Matt Shelton of Clay Elementary in 2nd place, Dylan McCumbers of Clay Elementary in 3rd place, Monny Holcomb of Lizemores in 4th place and Ethan Morris of Clay Elementary rounded out the top 5. The remaining skilled spellers included Emma Vance, Stephanie Naylor, Selena Kincaid, Hadleigh Casto, Ganon Osborne, Jerimiah Leftwich, Dylan Dorsey, Austin Davies, Macy Osborne, Landon Nichols, Ben Morton, Laila Varney, Alex Carpenter, Cecelia Velazquez, and Katie Townsend. Curtis Litton, Madison Miller, Phoebe Layne and Ashlea Morrsion served as alternates for the event.
The top five finishers were presented with a trophy but regardless of what place they finished, each student went home with a special prize. Local State Farm agent Timothy Hopkins was in attendance to show his support of the students and their families by awarding each participant with a letter of acknowledgment and a gift card for their participation. “Your dedication to academics is the first step towards success for your future.” reads the congratulatory letter given to the young scholars. “I consider each of them winners just for being a participant in the spelling bee” said Tim. We are inclined to agree with him. Congratulations again to all of this year’s prized spellers.