Diagnosis is the word at Annual Upshur County Spelling Bee


TENNERTON – Upshur County’s top student spellers took a little over an hour, seven rounds and 66 words to crown a champion.

It came down to the final two. Brooks Triplett and Bryce Nguyen.

After Triplett missed on worrisome, Nguyen spelled that word correctly and claimed his second spelling bee crown by spelling diagnosis correctly.

Nguyen along with the rest of the top finishers have earned the right to participate in North Central West Virginia Regional Spelling Bee to take place at Wollon Hall on the campus of Fairmont State University on March 14.

Nguyen, now a two-time county spelling bee champion, placed third in last year’s regional spelling bee.

This was Triplett’s first bee competition. Lila Wright was participating her second county spelling bee. Graci Ketterman was participating in her first county bee. Amelia Griffith, who is an avid reader of The Record Delta, was participating her third bee having her best finish ever at 5th.

The top five finishers are Amelia Griffith, 5th place, sixth grade at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School; Graci Ketterman, 4th place, eighth grade, Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School; Lila Wright, 3rd place, fifth grade, Union Elementary School; Brooks Triplett, 2nd place, fourth grade, Hodgesville Elementary School; and Bryce Nguyen, 1st place, fifth grade, Buckhannon Academy.

Participants in this year’s event were: Alissa Depoy, Grade 4, Buckhannon Academy; Sylas Knight, Grade 4, French Creek; Brooks Triplett, Grade 4, Hodgesville; Kallie Perry, Grade 4, Rock Cave; Liam Davis, Grade 4, Tennerton; Rebecca Pastorius, Grade 4, Union; Gracelynn Rowan, Grade 4, Washington District; Bryce Nguyen, Grade 5, Buckhannon Academy; Domenick Castillo,  Grade 5, French Creek; Seneca Howell, Grade 5, Hodgesville; Jeremiah Jefferies, Grade 5, Rock Cave; Meghan Boller, Grade 5, Tennerton; Lila Wright, Grade 5, Union; Presley Wilt, Grade 5, Washington District; Leah Bennett, Grade 6, B-U Middle; Amelia Griffith, Grade 6, B-U Middle; Sara Gompers, Grade 7, B-U Middle; Kari Gay, Grade 7, B-U Middle; Gracie Ketterman, Grade 8, B-U Middle; and Kaytlynn Landis, Grade 8, B-U Middle.

“These students have already competed at the school level,” spelling bee pronouncer Roy Wager said, “they are already champions.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sara Stankus echoed the sentiment of the evening that all of the spellers were champions. She also noted her appreciation to family members in attendance to support the young spellers. She noted success isn’t just encouraged at school but also at home.

There were approximately 80 people in attendance at the bee in addition to the 19 spellers, judges and organizers.

Stankus and Assistant Superintendent Deb Harrison served as moderators.

George Carver served as spelling bee assistant.

Bee organizer Cynthia Nesselroade noted the excitement of the students in this year’s event.

“You could tell the kids were really into it this year,” Nesselroade said.

The excitement of the kids was evident as they approached the microphone to attempt the next word pronounced by Wager.

Judges for the spelling bee included Buckhannon Rotary members Deanna Grogg and Jody Light, and Buckhannon The Record Delta Editor John Clise and Rebecca Clise. Rotary and The Record Delta, along with Upshur County Schools were sponsors of the event.

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