Leavenworth County Spelling Bee winners, first-place finisher Lansing Middle School seventh-grader Anna Yedlinski, second-place finisher Basehor-Linwood Middle School eighth-grader Aubrey Eder and third-place finisher Patton Junior High School eighth-grader Calla Franke, are announced at the conclusion of the bee Feb. 7 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge No. 55 in Leavenworth. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Thirty-nine students representing 17 area schools — the top spellers in fifth through eighth grade — competed in the Leavenworth Area Retired School Personnel Association’s 60th annual Leavenworth County Spelling Bee Feb. 7 at the Eagles Lodge in Leavenworth.

“(The spelling bee) is just a way that the retired school personnel have given back to the community,” said Pam Bristow, LARSPA president. “(Spelling) is a communication skill that I feel is important today.”

Kathryn Nolan, spelling bee coordinator, said the event teaches students other skills, too.

“The competition is a good (way) to build poise and confidence and public speaking skills,” Nolan said.

With the competition down to three spellers, Patton Junior High School eighth-grader Calla Franke spells a word for judges during the Leavenworth County Spelling Bee Feb. 7 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge No. 55 in Leavenworth. Calla correctly spelled sword, irregular, condemn, pellet, centipede, appetite and palindrome before missing buffoonery in the eighth-round. Calla placed third in the bee. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Following the Sunflower Spelling Bee rules, the bee lasted two practice rounds and nine regular rounds after Lansing Middle School seventh-grader Anna Yedlinski correctly spelled “calico” and “adhesion” after Calla Franke, Patton Junior High School eighth-grader, and Aubrey Eder, Basehor Middle School eighth-grader, misspelled “buffoonery” and “fallacy” in round eight, respectively.

Yedlinski will advance to the state spelling bee March 21 in Wichita, Kan.

After Yedlinski was declared the winner, Franke and Eder competed to determine the second- and third-place winners. After one round, Eder was named the second-place winner after she correctly spelled “prenuptial” and Franke, who was named the third-place winner, misspelled “impetus.”

Franke said this was her first-time participating in the Leavenworth County Spelling Bee and that it felt great to be awarded third place.

“You have to know how to spell,” Franke said. “Honestly, you have to write a lot of essays, you have to write a lot of things in general to get into good jobs and schools.”

During the bee, Franke correctly spelled “sword,” “irregular,” “condemn,” “pellet,” “centipede,” “appetite,” and “palindrome.”

Patton Junior High School eighth-grader Calla Franke spells a word during a practice round before the competition begins in the Leavenworth County Spelling Bee Feb. 7 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge No. 55 in Leavenworth. Calla correctly spelled sword, irregular, condemn, pellet, centipede, appetite and palindrome before missing buffoonery in the eighth-round. Calla placed third in the bee. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

The winners were presented with prizes, which included cash awards sponsored by LARSPA, first place; the Lansing Kiwanis Club, second place; and the Alpha Delta Kappa Beta Epsilon Chapter, third place.

All four Unified School District 207 schools had participants in the spelling bee. Fifth-grader Kristin Ross and sixth-grader Emma Perry represented Bradley Elementary School; fifth-grader Brandon Mosher and sixth-grader Sophie Kurz represented Eisenhower Elementary School; fifth-grader Connor Dannemiller and sixth-grader Kathryn Ashton represented MacArthur Elementary School; and seventh-grader Molly Henke and Franke represented Patton.

Eisenhower Elementary School sixth-grader Sophie Kurz spells a word during a practice round before the competition begins in the Leavenworth County Spelling Bee Feb. 7 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge No. 55 in Leavenworth. Sophie correctly spelled cowlick, pamphlet, going out on the word gossamer in the third round of the bee. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Kurz, who was a first-time participant in the county bee, said she was nervous.

“I think everyone is that way, though, so it helps a little bit,” Kurz said. “I just want to do my best.”

Kurz correctly spelled “cowlick,” and “pamphlet,” before being eliminated in round three after misspelling “jalapeno.”

Other Fort Leavenworth participants were eliminated in various rounds.

Bradley Elementary School fifth-grader Kristin Ross spells a word in one of two practice rounds as Leavenworth County Spelling Bee competitors practice speaking clearly and loudly and asking for definitions when necessary Feb. 7 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge No. 55 in Leavenworth. Kristin went on to correctly spell hairpin, quack, sheriff, garland, aromatherapy, marionette and ignoble to secure fourth-place in the bee. She went out on the word skedaddle in the seventh round. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Ross finished in fourth place after correctly spelling “quack,” “sheriff,” “garland,” “aromatherapy,” “marionette,” and “ignoble,” before misspelling “skedaddle” in round seven.

Bradley Elementary School sixth-grader Emma Perry spells a word in one of two practice rounds as Leavenworth County Spelling Bee competitors learn the process and lessen their nervousness Feb. 7 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge No. 55 in Leavenworth. Emma went on to correctly spell cough, tapestry, amplify, manifesto and cuckoo and went out in the sixth round of the bee on the word quorum. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Perry made it to round six after correctly spelling “cough,” “tapestry,” “amplify,” “manifesto,” and “cuckoo,” before misspelling “quorum.”

MacArthur Elementary School sixth-grader Kathryn Ashton spells a word during a practice round before the competition begins in the Leavenworth County Spelling Bee Feb. 7 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge No. 55 in Leavenworth. Kathryn correctly spelled commotion, rugby, caroling and mangrove, going out on the word erstwhile in the fifth round. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Ashton made it to round five after correctly spelling “commotion,” “rugby,” “caroling,” and “mangrove” before misspelling “erstwhile.”

MacArthur Elementary School fifth-grader Connor Dannemiller spells a word during a practice round before the competition begins in the Leavenworth County Spelling Bee Feb. 7 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge No. 55 in Leavenworth. Connor correctly spelled whisk, hazmat and luggage, going out on the word balderdash in the fourth round. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Dannemiller made it to round four after correctly spelling “whisk,” “hazmat,” and “luggage” before misspelling “balderdash.”

Henke made it to round three after correctly spelling “treadmill” and “watercress” before misspelling “vicinity.”

Patton Junior High School seventh-grader Molly Henke spells a word in a practice round of the Leavenworth County Spelling Bee before the competition begins to help competitors learn the process and reduce their nervousness Feb. 7 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge No. 55 in Leavenworth. Molly correctly spelled treadmill and watercress before missing vicinity in the third round. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Mosher misspelled “dawdle” in the first round.

Eisenhower Elementary School fifth-grader Brandon Mosher spells “oval” during a practice round as the Leavenworth County Spelling Bee begins Feb. 7 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge No. 55 in Leavenworth. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Other military children who participated in the spelling bee represented other schools like Richard Warren Middle School sixth-grader Darien Culler, son of Maj. Michael Culler, School of Advanced Military Studies student.

Being a second-time participant in the county spelling bee, Culler said he felt more confident this year and hoped to make it to at least the top 10.

“When we grow up, it’ll be better (knowing how to spell) so people can understand us better,” Culler said. “For example, if we couldn’t communicate with our voice, we could write it all down.”

Maj. Michael Culler, School of Advanced Military Studies student, practices spelling words with Warren Middle School sixth-grader Darien Culler as competitors arrive and family members find seats before the Leavenworth County Spelling Bee Feb. 7 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge No. 55 in Leavenworth. Darien also competed in the 2019 county bee as a fifth-grader. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Culler made it to round two after correctly spelling “throttle” before misspelling “candor.”

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