‘Hypochondria’ no problem for student who claims ‘nonnegotiable’ spelling bee win
Posted: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 8:56 pm
Black Oak Elementary School eighth-grader Kane Ferguson is the new Obion County Spelling Bee cham-pion.
Ferguson correctly spelled his final two words — nonnegotiable in the eighth round, followed by hypochondria in the ninth round — to clinch the title Tuesday afternoon at the Union City Municipal Building courtroom.
He is the 13-year-old son of Jamie and Shanna Ferguson of Hornbeak. His grandparents are Benny and Ann McGuire of Hornbeak, Den and Joyce Ferguson of McEwen and the late Pat Ferguson of Palmersville.
Ferguson bested seven other top spellers from schools across Obion County and Union City. Each had won their respective school’s spelling bee in order to earn the right to compete in the county event, sponsored by the Obion County and Union City education asso-ciations.
For the win, Ferguson earned a plaque and $50, as well as the right to represent Obion County at the annual Mid-South Spelling Bee to be held March 5 in Memphis.
Ferguson, an avid reader who enjoys science class, said he practiced a little bit for his first year of competing in the Obion County Spelling Bee. His mother, the former Shanna McGuire, said he has consistently made perfect scores on most all spelling tests for many years.
“He bested his mother,” Mrs. Ferguson said with a laugh, making reference to her own second-place finish in the county spelling bee March 17, 1982, when she was an eighth-grader at the former Hornbeak Elementary School.
Ferguson spoke with a strong, confident voice each time he stepped to the microphone to spell words given by pronouncer Con-nie Hitt during Tuesday’s event.
During a competition that lasted 16 minutes and nine rounds, Ferguson successfully spelled words that included establishment, ultramarine, yeti, toxicosis, narcoleptic, rambunctious, olympiad, nonnegotiable and, finally, hypochondria.
Obion County schools swept the top three spots at this year’s Obion County Spelling Bee, with Hillcrest Elementary School sev-enth-grader Lucian Freeze claiming the runner-up position and Lake Road Elementary School sixth-grader Jenna Smith fin-ishing in third place. They received plaques and monetary prizes donated by the sponsoring organ-izations. (See related photo, Page 6.)
Freeze lasted into the eighth round, where he misspelled affectation. Prior to that, he had successfully spelled the words engineer, rhombus, impromptu, convivial, feral, kelvin and papyrus.
Miss Smith made it into the seventh round before she faltered on her spelling of jalapeno. Among the words she correctly spelled prior to that were intellectual, speculate, literacy, magnificently, abacus and quotient.
One speller was eliminated in each of the first five rounds of competition. The fifth round was the downfall of Union City Middle School seventh-grader Kizer Harris, who stumbled on his spelling of elocution, while the fourth round knocked out South Fulton Elementary School fifth-grader Hannah Carlisle, who misspelled gigabyte.
The third round saw the elimination of South Fulton Middle School eighth-grader Harrison Fry, who misfired on the word despicable, and the second round removed Ridgemont Elementary School eighth-grader Zach Parker when he misspelled misinterpret. Union City Elementary School fifth-grader Claire Wisener stumbled in the first round on the word testimony.
Both Union City Director of Schools Gary Houston and Obion County Director of Schools David Huss were on hand for the competition. Afterward, while presenting awards and certificates, Houston emphasized that all of the young competitors were already winners for having been named champions at their own schools.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 2.2.11