Top spellers honored at bee

These are the top three finishers in the eighth-grade division in the Jan. 31 District Spelling Bee held at the Shirley Smith Little Theater at Marquette Senior High School. From left are Shamus Overland, first place; Hunter Cain, second place; and Hina Ervick, third places. Trophies also were handed out for grades 5, 6 and 7. (Journal photo by Christie Mastric)

MARQUETTE — Grade schoolers correctly spelled words such as “totalitarian” and “advisable” as Marquette Area Public Schools on Jan. 31 carried on witih the time-honored tradition of holding a spelling bee.

The district-wide event, which took place at the Shirley Smith Little Theater at Marquette Senior High School, brought students from sixth, seventh and eighth grades at Bothwell Middle School and fifth graders from Graveraet, Sandy Knoll, Superior Hills and Cherry Creek elementary schools to the stage.

“I think the whole idea behind being able to compete at this level and represent your school, be up in front of parents, judges, others — this is just another form of competition, and a lot of these students may or may not also do athletics or do other clubs and events,” said Debra Asano, retired associate superintendent for teaching, learning and technology at the Marquette-Alger Educational Service Agency. “This is another way of showing what you’re capable of, and it happens in this digital world. You have to enter data correctly, and mistakes in digits and letters is going to goof up a program, so it’s very important to be precise.”

The top three finishers in each grade, respectively, were: eighth grade-Shamus Overland, Hunter Cain and Hina Ervick; seventh grade-Zakiyyah Adebiyi, Andrew Krzymowski and and Vincent Saint John; sixth grade-Desmond Carlistle, Sarah Busscher and Abraham Dosh; and fifth-grade, Zuri Ghiardi, Graveraet; Rudy Orlich, Superior Hills; and Colin Reevs, Sandy Knoll.

Overland said he studied every day for about an hour to prepare for the spelling bee.

It’s important to know spelling, he said.

“You spell words most of your life and you need to know them, just like you need to know reading for things,” Overland said.

The top two finishers will advance to regional competition hosted by MAPS on Feb. 16, with the third-place finisher serving as alternate. Winners then will move on to the Upper Peninsula competition set for on March 8 in Negaunee.

Judges were Kristen Peterson, Ph.D., literacy coach and education consultant in general education at MARESA, and Chandra Ziegler, MARESA early literacy coach.

MAPS and the U.P. Community Education Association sponsored the bee.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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