It took only two rounds, but a winner was declared in the annual Rowan County School District Spelling Bee, held at Rowan County Middle School on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. The winner, Sam Fannin, fifth grade student at Tilden Hogge Elementary School and son of Ramona and Andy Fannin, earned the title of 2017 Rowan County School District Spelling Bee Champion when he correctly spelled the word oblong. The runner-up for this year’s spelling bee was Rowan County Middle School student Mary Melahn, son of William and Nadine Melahn.
As the winner of the county spelling bee, Sam Fannin has met the qualifications to represent Rowan County in the state Ford Motor Company Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee to be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts’ Bomhard Theater in Louisville, Kentucky. If, for some reason, Sam is unable to participate in the Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee, Mary Melahn, as the runner-up, will become eligible to participate in the state competition. The top five finishers of the state spelling bee will receive savings bonds from the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation, while the overall champion will have the opportunity to ride on the Winner’s Float in the Republic Bank Pegasus® Parade.
This year’s Rowan County School District Spelling Bee, which was held at Rowan County Middle School, was hosted by Angela Lyon. Ms. Lyon was stepping in for Genny Jenkins, gifted education coordinator for Rowan County Schools and organizer of the spelling bee. Judges for the event were Tina Northcutt, librarian at Rowan County Middle School, and Stacie May, teacher at Rowan County Middle School.
The district’s four elementary schools held classroom and school-level spelling bees while Rowan County Middle School held grade-level spelling bees to determine a winner and runner-up for each school and qualify for the District Spelling Bee. The students that qualified for this year’s competition were: Hattie Tackett and Haylie Tackett from Clearfield Elementary; Keith Lewis and Hayden Watkins from McBrayer Elementary; Devin Frazier and Brittany Hamilton from Rodburn Elementary; Sophie Price and Sam Fannin from Tilden Hogge Elementary; Maryn Lewis and Mary Melahn from RCMS 6th grade; Kaylee McGuire and Heather Boggs from RCMS 7th grade; and Jade Kelsey and Brayden Ashley from RCMS 8th grade.
“I really have to congratulate all the students who took part in this year’s spelling bee. Having to spell words in front of a crowd can be very challenging. I am so very proud of each speller,” said Genny Jenkins.
Congratulations, Sam Fannin. Best of luck at the Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee.