A local middle school student took home the title champion at the county-wide spelling bee on Monday after a close battle with the runner up.
Burke county Public Schools hosted the 2021 county-wide spelling bee at Patton High School.
Caroline Cox, an eighth-grade student at East Burke Middle School, won first place at the competition. Hailee Miller, a fifth-grade student at Ray Childers Elementary School, was named runner up.
Cox was named champion after multiple intense rounds of spelling against Miller. Cox had to spell two consecutive words correctly to win the title.
The first word Cox spelled correctly was m-a-n-d-i-b-l-e and the word that won her the title was p-a-r-a-l-y-s-i-s.
Students who competed in the spelling bee varied in ages and grade levels. Students from third to eight grade competed in the event.
The following student competed as representatives of their respective school at the spelling bee:
Talon Denton, from Drexel Elementary
Zoey Shannon, from Forest Hill Elementary
Evan Barnett, from George Hildebrand Elementary
Jennifer Velasquez Raymundo, from Glen Alpine Elementary
Gage Wiley, from Hildebran Elementary
Julian Nolasco, from Hillcrest Elementary
James Bean, from Icard Elementary
Lillian McKinney, from Mountain View Elementary
Lila Hudson from, Mull Elementary
Pyper Stevens, from Oak Hill Elementary
Hailee Miller, from Ray Childers Elementary
Brayden Boyd, from Salem Elementary
Walker Bowman, from Valdese Elementary
Aliyah Edwards, from W.A. Elementary
Caroline Cox, from East Burke Middle School
Maggie Poteat, from Heritage Middle School
Macey Webb, from Liberty Middle School
Maddox Keller, from Table Rock Middle School
Robert Butler, from Walter Johnson Middle School
Jayden Yang, from Burke Virtual Academy
At the end of the spelling bee, each student was presented with a medal and certificate of achievement by BCPS Superintendent Mike Swan and Buddy Armour, chairman of the Burke County Board of Education.
The competition was judged by Kristin Edwards, director of Burke Virtual Academy, Shane Mace, director of exceptional children, and Anne Stephens, former director of secondary education.
Other school board members in attendance included Don Hemstreet and Jane Sohovich.
Debbie Jennings, director of secondary education, Assistant Superintendent Karen Auton, and Brett Wilson, director of elementary education, also attended the event.
Sydni Hall is a staff writer and can be reached at 828-432-8907 or at email@example.com.