Alyssa Carlisle (left), a sixth-grade student at Royal Valley Middle School, won the Jackson County Spelling Bee on Saturday, while Kassidy Fisher (right), a sixth-grade student at Holton Middle School, took second place in the bee. Both will go to the regional spelling bee on Saturday, March 7 at Seaman High School in Topeka.

Carlisle, Fisher top spellers at county bee

Halfway through the annual Jackson County Spelling Bee on Saturday, Royal Valley Middle School sixth-grader Alyssa Carlisle was sitting in the audience as its champion, having proven herself able to jettison her competition early.

Carlisle correctly spelled “jettison” to win the spelling bee and earn a spot in the upcoming regional spelling bee on Saturday, March 7 at Seaman High School in Topeka. Second place went to Holton Middle School sixth-grader Kassidy Fisher, who battled it out with third-place contestant Cassidy Parks, a seventh-grader at RVMS, to earn the county’s other spot in the regional bee.

Eleven students from Jackson County’s fifth through eighth grades worked their way through 71 words during Saturday’s bee, held in the Royal Valley Elementary School gym at Hoyt. But by the end of the fourth round, all but Carlisle had been eliminated, as she correctly spelled “premises” during the round, then correctly spelled “jettison” for the win.

Fisher, Parks and four other students who had made it to the fourth round but missed their words were called back for a “spell-off” by spelling bee coordinator and RVMS librarian Darlene Irvin. Students found themselves stumbling on such words as “foible,” “brethren” and “slovenly” before Fisher and Parks got into a 27-word battle for second place.

Fisher appeared to have second place locked with correct spellings of “fragile” and “indulgent,” but was unable to correctly spell “iteration” and “albeit,” while Parks landed “maize” but stumbled on “dromedary.” Fisher eventually earned second place by properly spelling “easel” and then “average.”

Meanwhile, in the audience, Carlisle watched the two battle it out, recognizing words they were given such as “ancillary,” “pantomime,” “abysmal” and “obfuscate.”

“I had a lot of those as my study words,” Carlisle said after the bee.

Others participating in the bee included Darby Ireland (fifth grade), Emily McGrath (seventh grade) and Grant Cawby (eighth grade) from Holton; Justin Mullins (fifth grade), Alyssa Harris (sixth grade) and Caitlyn Morrissey (eighth grade) from Jackson Heights; and Sondra Owings-Priest (fifth grade) and Allison Clements (eighth grade) from Royal Valley.

RVMS history teacher Nathan McAlister served as pronouncer for Saturday’s bee, with Lisa Stumpf of Royal Valley, Michael Kimberlin of Holton and Mary Williams of Jackson Heights as judges. The winner of the regional bee on March 7 will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the end of May.

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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