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Examiner
  • Lee's Summit sixth grader wins ticket to D.C. spelling bee

  • For the first time in three years, Jackson County will be sending a brand new speller to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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  • For the first time in three years, Jackson County will be sending a brand new speller to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
    Meah Wilburn, a sixth grader from Highland Park Elementary School in Lee’s Summit was named the 2013 Jackson County Spelling Bee champion during the final competition Saturday at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library. She won with the word “lamentation,” a word used to express sorrow. The national spelling bee is May 28-30 in Washington, D.C.
    Jonathan Fase, a student at The Daniel Academy in Kansas City, placed second and Sam Royce, a student at Longview Farm Elementary in Lee’s Summit, took third place.
    Three-time county winner Jordan Hoffman, who finished in the top 10 in the 2012 national bee, was not eligible this year.
    “Yes, we were pleased with how the competition went this year,” said Mary Thompson, outreach manager for the Kansas City Public Library. “It is always fun to work with the spellers and their families. Each year I am reminded of how impressive these kids are regarding spelling and all the work they put in to preparing for the bee.”
    The public libraries took over the county competition two years ago. That change in sponsorship meant a change in how the bee was operated. Following the regular school bees were two division bees – one in Eastern Jackson County and one in Kansas City. The division finalists went onto the championship bee at the Plaza Library.
    The national bee will begin with a written test of 25 words. Each word is worth one point and all spellings count toward the preliminary score. Following the written test, spellers participate in the preliminary rounds and earn points for each correct word. The overall score will be used to determine who moves on to the semifinals.
    “I truly enjoy collaborating with our Jackson County Spelling Bee partners and library staff,” Thompson said. “They make the bee a success for the kids.”
    The Jackson County Spelling Bee is sponsored by the Mid-Continent Public Library, LINC, and the Kansas City Federation of Teachers and School Personnel.
     

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