Nine boys and six girls lined up Thursday morning in front of a standing room only crowd at the Lincoln County Schools District Spelling Bee.
Three rounds and multiple words later, John Workman out spelled them all.
Workman, a student at East Lincoln Middle School, spelled his way to success. He correctly spelled E-S-C-A-R-P-M-E-N-T and sealed the win by spelling R-E-C-I-P-R-O-C-A-L.
The young spellerâ€™s teacher immediately congratulated him on the win and credited his parents for preparing their son for the event.
â€œHis parents put words all over the house so wherever he went he studied,â€ said Janice Lyall, Workmanâ€™s teacher.
Workman doesnâ€™t necessarily have a passion for spelling, but he likes to succeed. He also said his parents played a big part in his winning.
â€œItâ€™s not really a big thing to me, but my parents tell me to study every year,â€ he said.
For a week, index cards posted around the house have helped him in preparing for the bee. His continued efforts and attention to detail worked in his favor, Lyall said.
â€œJohn takes his time,â€ she said. â€œHe really thinks things out.â€
Workman will go on to represent Lincoln County in the regional spelling bee Thursday, Feb. 17.
Before the spelling began, Dr. Elaine Jenkins, associate superintendent, acknowledged the students, judges and many parents, teachers and principals in the audience.
â€œI think this is the biggest crowd weâ€™ve ever had,â€ she said. â€œ(The students) are already big winners, and weâ€™re already so proud of them.â€
Students represented each elementary and middle school for the spelling bee. In addition to Workman, participants included Brett Thompson, Joleisha Gibson, Whitney Watts, Jake Ballard, Joshua Walston, Justin Hayes, Luke Johnson, Megan Crawford, Shana Price, Maria Realmuto, Patrick Lounsbury, Cody Oâ€™Brien, Jeremy Reece and Beth Qualls.
Workman won a dictionary, $100 savings bond and a trophy for the victory. First runner-up, Cody Oâ€™brien, won a trophy, reference set and $50 savings bond.
All finalists received pocket dictionaries. And all were applauded and commended for their efforts.
â€œSpelling is certainly something we stress in our schools and as you can see weâ€™ve got some great spellers,â€ said Dr. Jim Watson, superintendent of schools.
by Diane Turbyfill