District Spelling Bee champ named

Spelling Bee Champion 2020

One of the definitions of the word snooker is “to hoodwink," but, for one speller, the word snooker might as well have meant championship when it was correctly spelled in the 2020 Rowan County School District Spelling Bee that was held on February 4, 2020 at Rowan County Middle School.  This year’s champion speller is Felicity McCarty, daughter of Tosha Brown, and a fourth grade student at McBrayer Elementary School.  This year’s runner-up was Keith Lewis, son of Elizabeth and Joseph Lewis, and an 8th grader at Rowan County Middle School.

As the winner of the District spelling bee, Felicity McCarty has met the qualifications to represent Rowan County Schools in the state Ford Motor Company Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee to be held on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts’ Bomhard Theater in Louisville, Kentucky.   If, for some reason, Felicity is unable to participate in the Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee, Keith Lewis, as the runner-up, will become eligible to participate in the state competition.

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:

Troy Wall and Helena Suarez
Clearfield Elementary

Felicity McCarty and Braxton Trent
McBrayer Elementary

Abby Vires and Gracie Vanover
Rodburn Elementary

Mya Hall and Alexis Adkins
Tilden Hogge Elementary School

Caden Collins and Olivia Stone
RCMS 6th grade

Audrey Bryant and Ava Blackledge
RCMS 7th grade

Keith Lewis and Noah Stevens
RCMS 8th grade


This year’s Rowan County School District Spelling Bee was held at Rowan County Middle School., was hosted by Genny Jenkins, director of Rowan County Schools’ Gifted and Talented Education Program.    Judges for the event were RCMS librarian Tina Northcutt and RCSHS English teacher Lindsay Johnson.  Stacie May, RCMS English teacher, served as the word pronouncer for the event.

When notified of the spelling bee results, Superintendent John Maxey offered his congratulations to Felicity McCarty and Keith Lewis, and then added, “Felicity McCarty and Keith Lewis should be so proud of their accomplishments.  I also want 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 think I can speak on behalf of their parents and their teachers by saying we are very proud of each speller.”

Congratulations, Felicity McCarty.  Best of luck at the Ford Motor Company Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee.

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