Seth Reagan, Valle Crucis 8th Grader, Wins Watauga County Schools Spelling Bee

Published Friday, October 9, 2015 at 1:20 pm
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The Spelling Bee champions from each school include (from left in front) Isaiah Watson, Nathan Bishop, Jeremiah Hodges, and Kazia Orkiszewski; Back row: Samuel Brandon, Magali Turner, Ben Vines, and Seth Reagan.

Valle Crucis 8th grader Seth Reagan won the Watauga County Schools Spelling Bee today, correctly spelling “indulgent” as the final word in a competition that went 17 rounds before the winner was determined. Ben Vines, an 8th grader at Cove Creek School, was the runner up in this year’s event.

In addition to Seth and Ben, the other school champions participating in this year’s competition included Jeremiah Hodges of Bethel, Samuel Brandon of Blowing Rock, Kazia Orkiszewski of Green Valley, Nathan Bishop of Hardin Park, Isaiah Watson of Mabel, and Magali Turner of Parkway. Each school’s champion advanced to the WCS finals of the Spelling Bee by winning a competition among 4th through 8th grade students at their school.

Spelling Bee Champion Seth Reagan with Valle Crucis Principal Preston Clarke

Spelling Bee Champion Seth Reagan with Valle Crucis Principal Preston Clarke

In his introductory remarks, Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott congratulated all participants “for already being winners. You are representing your schools as the best of the best…and you are where you are because you worked hard to achieve a goal.” Elliott also thanked parents for their support of the students, and expressed his appreciation to Meredith Jones and Renee Battle for their work in organizing the Spelling Bee.

Jones, director of middle grades education, serves as the coordinator of the Spelling Bee, with substantial assistance in that role from Battle of the central office staff and coordinators at each of the K-8 schools.

Prizes are awarded to all eight school Spelling Bee champions thanks to the generosity of local sponsors. The sponsors for this year’s Bee include Appalachian Ski Mountain, Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Doc’s Rock/Gem Mine, First Citizens Bank, Grandfather Mountain, Hardee’s, Linville Caverns, Mystery Hill, Sweet Frog, Tweetsie, and Yadkin Bank.

Chief Academic Officer Tamara Stamey read the rules for the Spelling Bee before the event and Dr. Wayne Eberle, WCS director of accountability and school improvement, served as the pronouncer. The panel of judges included Meredith Jones, ASU Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Traci Royster representing the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Stephen Martin.

The next round of competition for WCS winner Seth Reagan will be the regional Spelling Bee in Winston-Salem in March. The tradition of the Watauga County Schools Spelling Bee is over 50 years old.

The Watauga County Schools consists of eight K-8 schools and one comprehensive high school with a combined system enrollment of approximately 4,400 students. The WCS system consistently ranks as one of the best in NC as measured by test results, teacher qualifications, and other indicators.


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