Parkway Eighth Grader Edie Berke correctly spelled the word “Municipality” in the 14th round to secure victory in the Watauga County Schools district-wide spelling bee held Nov. 5 at the Margaret Gragg Education Center in Boone.
The top-speller in each school was invited to attend the competition held at the WCS central office. This year’s contestants were: Liliana Wyatt of Bethel, Sophie Parker of Blowing Rock, A.J. McAulay of Cove Creek, Zeke Walker of Green Valley, Maya Shinnar-Weinberg of Hardin Park, Alex Barnes of Mabel, Edie Berke of Parkway and Joey Cornett of Valle Crucis and Katy Califf of the Watauga Virtual Academy.
A single speller from each school secured a stop at the district-wide spelling bee final by winning a competition among fourth through eighth-grade students at her or his school.
Meredith Jones, Watauga County Schools Director of Middle Grades Education, said regardless of the competition’s outcome, students had demonstrated hard work and dedication to make an appearance at the district bee.
“We want to recognize the hard work of these great students from each school,” Jones said. “It’s an honor and achievement to win the spelling bee for your school, and to make it to the district bee. I’m grateful to all of these students for representing their schools so well. I would also like to thank all the local businesses who support us and make the spelling bee possible.”
The 2021 district spelling bee was sponsored by Carolina West Wireless and SkyLine/SkyBest. Several local businesses also donated prizes for each contestant and the bee champion, including: Blue Deer Cookies, Chick-Fil-A, Come Back Shack, The Hickory Crawdads, Mellow Mushroom, Nascar Speedpark, Sassy Cat Bakery, Stick Boy Bread Co., Watauga County Parks and Recreation and Wendy’s.
The spelling bee was also made possible by the work of a team of school personnel and volunteers. Jones along with Kim Hall and Emily Younce of the central services team coordinated the logistics and planning for the WCS Spelling Bee, and school level coordinators oversaw the spelling bee competitions at each school.
Wayne Eberle, WCS director of Accountability and School Improvement, served as the pronouncer, while Facilities Director Jeff Trexler, Student Services Director Paul Holden and Watauga High School Assistant Principal Rachel Shepherd, served as the panel of judges.
With her victory at the county level, Berke will go on to represent the district at the regional level in the spring.