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.
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.”
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.
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.
Ross finished in fourth place after correctly spelling “quack,” “sheriff,” “garland,” “aromatherapy,” “marionette,” and “ignoble,” before misspelling “skedaddle” in round seven.
Perry made it to round six after correctly spelling “cough,” “tapestry,” “amplify,” “manifesto,” and “cuckoo,” before misspelling “quorum.”
Ashton made it to round five after correctly spelling “commotion,” “rugby,” “caroling,” and “mangrove” before misspelling “erstwhile.”
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.”
Mosher misspelled “dawdle” in the first round.
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.”
Culler made it to round two after correctly spelling “throttle” before misspelling “candor.”