Local students battled it out during the Lincoln County Schools 2012 Spelling Bee on Friday at First Baptist Church in Lincolnton.
Spelling bee champions from area elementary and middle schools took part in what Superintendent Dr. Sherry Hoyle called the “only competition where you start off with all winners.” Each representative had won their respective class and school titles to make it to Fridayâ€™s championship.
After more than 10 rounds of increasingly tricky words, a victor emerged: Skyler Paschen, an eighth-grader at North Lincoln Middle, was crowned the winner after successfully spelling “colloquial.” Throughout the rounds, he remained calm and collected, confidently taking on each word without missing a beat and with a smile on his face.
Nonetheless, he said he was concerned at the beginning because many of the words selected were not on the lists he had studied.
“At first, I thought I might choke,” he said.
But he noted that he wasnâ€™t nervous, adding that he had studied a lot.
First runner-up Faith Hamilton of Lincolnton Middle, also in the eighth grade, said she had used flash cards to prepare prior to the competition.
With English as their favorite subject in school, itâ€™s no surprise that either has a knack for words. Additionally, Faith credits her spelling skills to her fondness for narrative.
“I read a lot of books,” she explained.
Skyler believes his skills may be more hereditary in nature, giving a shout-out to his mom.
He will now advance to the Regional Charlotte Observer Spelling Bee on Feb. 20, before which he plans to do “a lot more studying.” Faith will serve as a backup competitor should the need arise.
The judges for Fridayâ€™s competition included Prissy Helms, Lee Oâ€™Neal and Mary Elaine Knight. The spelling bee pronouncer was Jennifer Sackett, director of the Lincoln County Public Library.