Competing in the Paulding County Spelling Bee were, from left – Josh Shelton, Alicia Bahena, Jarrett Jewell, Sarah Wong, Olivia Franklin, Max Stork, Caleb Cox, Trina Wiegand, Madisyn Peters and Keira Spyker. Julia Keirns/Paulding County Progress
Competing in the Paulding County Spelling Bee were, from left – Josh Shelton, Alicia Bahena, Jarrett Jewell, Sarah Wong, Olivia Franklin, Max Stork, Caleb Cox, Trina Wiegand, Madisyn Peters and Keira Spyker. Julia Keirns/Paulding County Progress
By JULIA KEIRNS

Correspondent

PAYNE – Ten students from Paulding County area schools competed Tuesday evening, Feb. 5 in the 2019 Paulding County Journal Gazette Spelling Bee held at WT Payne Elementary School Auditorium.

Students competing included Keira Spyker - fourth grader from Antwerp Elementary, Madisyn Peters - sixth grader from Antwerp Middle School, Trina Wiegand - seventh grader from Christian Home Educators of Paulding County, Caleb Cox - fifth grader from Divine Mercy Catholic School, Max Stork - sixth grader from Oakwood Elementary, Olivia Franklin – fifth grader from Paulding Elementary, Sarah Wong – seventh grader from Paulding Middle School, Jarrett Jewell – sixth grader from WT Grover Hill Elementary, Alicia Bahena – fifth grader from WT Payne Elementary, and Josh Shelton – eighth grader from WTJH.

Master of Ceremonies Ashley Shepherd welcomed the crowd and introduced the judges for this year’s competition: Joe Linder, principal at Divine Mercy Catholic School, Tim Manz, director of curriculum and Testing for WT, and Kevin Wilson, principal of WT Grover Hill Elementary.

Greeters for the evening included Kelly Stouffer, Marta Wilder and Matt Wilhelm.

Pronouncer of the words for the evening was Doug Grooms, special services coordinator for Van Wert City Schools.

The students competed in a total of 11 rounds to reach a winner. Some of the misspelled words along the way included errand, dissect, pretzel, maraca, polymer, stucco, bevel and praline.

Caleb Cox and Sarah Wong survived all the rounds until Cox misspelled the word “belay,” which means to secure a person by attaching to one end of a rope.

Wong then correctly spelled “clementine” and then in the final round she also correctly spelled “galleria,” making her the 2019 Paulding County Spelling Bee winner and Cox the runner-up.

Wong was the county runner-up in 2018.

Shepherd, who is the county Spelling Bee coordinator from Western Buckeye ESC, and Keith West from the VFW Post 5087 in Antwerp then passed out awards to all contestants.

Runner-up Caleb Cox received a check for $50 and a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble, while winner Sarah Wong received a check for $100 and a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble.

Award sponsors were Antwerp Exchange Bank and Antwerp VFW Post 5087.

Wong will now represent Paulding County in the Journal Gazette Regional Spelling Bee on March 9. This competition will be held at Purdue Fort Wayne in the Rhinehart Recital Hall beginning at 10 a.m. The Regional Spelling Bee winner will advance to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.