Weakley County names spelling bee winners

Weakley County names spelling bee winners
Weakley County names spelling bee winners | Cecelia Pomphrey, Weakley County Spelling Bee 2011

WEAKLEY COUNTY WORD WHIZZES – Weakley County’s top spellers competed in the county spelling been Friday morning at the Weakley County Board of Education. They represented Gleason, Greenfield, Martin Elementary, Martin Middle, Sharon and Dresden Middle schools. School officials and participants included (back, from left) 12th-place Tony Allen, an eighth-grader from Sharon School; Weakley County director of schools Randy Frazier; ninth-place Kaitlyn Courtney, an eighth-grader from Dresden Middle School; fifth-place Andrew You, a seventh-grader from Martin Middle School; seventh-place Casey Beckett, a sixth-grader from Greenfield School; sixth-place Katie Orr, an eighth-grader from Martin Middle School; assistant director of schools Jeff Kelley, third-place Savanna Scarbrough, a seventh-grader from Gleason School; (front, from left) 11th place Esther Kim, a fifth-grader from Martin Elementary School; eighth-place Judah Brown, a fifth-grader from Martin Elementary School; champion Cecelia Pomphrey, an eighth-grader from Gleason School; runner-up Loral Winn, a fifth-grader from Dresden Middle School; 10th-place Casey Hall, an eighth-grader from Greenfield School and fourth-place Tucker Turner, a sixth-grader from Sharon School. Pomphrey will now move on to the Mid-South Spelling Bee in Memphis and if she wins there, it will be on to Washington, D.C. for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.    
Photo by Sara Rachels

Cecelia Pomphrey didn’t need any more reasons to love reading, but, for better or worse, she now has a new reason.

The Gleason eighth-grader’s affinity for books and the written word may have played a big role in her being crowned the Weakley County Spelling Bee champion Friday at the Weakley County Board of Education.
Through 10 rounds, spellers from Dresden Middle, Gleason, Greenfield, Sharon, Martin Elementary and Martin Middle competed against each other for the title of the county’s leader in letters. They raced through such offerings as “ulterior,” “whimsical,” “behemoth,” and “fidelity,” all read out by the voice of Doug Braden who has been working the bee as speaker for 10 years.
With her steady and careful style and succinct pronunciation of each individual letter, however, Pomphrey stepped to the microphone and, ironically, spelled out the word “necessary,” to claim the top prize and a trip to the Mid-South Spelling Bee in Memphis. Coming in second place was fifth-grader Laurel Winn of Dresden Middle School.
Though Pomphrey is new to the county spelling bee, she is anything but new to spelling bees in general having participated in them since the fifth grade.
“I like spelling. I’ve always seemed to have a knack for it,” she said.
“I read a lot – historical fiction, mystery,” she added.
This Rick Riordan fan loves to read so much that her mother often must tell her to take a break from it.
At school, Pomphrey tries to stay in the Top Ten of her class and doesn’t claim to have a favorite subject answering the question with, “I try to be an all-around person. I really like school.”
As winner of the spelling bee, Pomphrey received a trophy, $100 and a trip to the regional bee. Winn received a trophy and $50 and all the participants received medals and certificates.
The order finished as 12th-place Tony Allen, an eighth-grader from Sharon School; 11th place Esther Kim, a fifth-grader from Martin Elementary School; 10th-place Casey Hall, an eighth-grader from Greenfield School; ninth-place Kaitlyn Courtney, an eighth-grader from Dresden Middle School; eighth-place Judah Brown, a fifth-grader from Martin Elementary School; seventh-place Casey Beckett, a sixth-grader from Greenfield School; sixth-place Katie Orr, an eighth-grader from Martin Middle School; fifth-place Andrew You, a seventh-grader from Martin Middle School; fourth-place Tucker Turner, a sixth-grader from Sharon School; and third-place Savanna Scarbrough, a seventh-grader from Gleason School.
“I know the leaders of tomorrow will be predicted by the achievements of students like these here today,” Weakley County Instructional Supervisor for K-5 Charlene Alsup remarked.
One of Pomphrey’s favorite words? Serendipitous. Very fitting.

WCP 12.13.11

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