The 2016 edition of the WCS Spelling Bee went for 11 rounds, with “incredulous” being the final word of the competition.
In his introductory remarks for the event, Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott congratulated each of the contestants, saying “each of you is already a winner…you guys are the most awesome people here and we’re proud of each and every one of you.” Elliott also thanked parents, school personnel, and local businesses for their support of the students, giving special attention to sponsors SkyLine/SkyBest and Carolina West Wireless.
Elliott noted that the WCS Spelling Bee is part of the National Scripps Spelling Bee, “which is quite a big deal and it’s also kind of expensive. We’re fortunate that SkyLine/SkyBest and Carolina West Wireless made it possible for us to be part of this national competition, and we’re very grateful for their support.”
Karen Powell, public relations director for SkyLine/SkyBest, commented “we are happy to partner with the Watauga County Schools to help make this event possible.”
Prizes are awarded to each school Spelling Bee champion thanks to the generosity of local businesses. This year’s contributors include Appalachian Ski Mountain, Blue Horse Promotions, Blue Ridge Vision, Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Boone Drugs, Inc., Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine, First Citizens Bank, Hardee’s, Linville Caverns, Lowes Foods, Mast General Store, Menchie’s, Mystery Hill, and Tweetsie.
While the spellers are always the stars of the event, a team of school personnel and volunteers help make it possible. Meredith Jones and Renee Battle 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.
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 David Jackson, president of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Ike Smith, director of instructional support services for WCS, and Dr. Stephen Martin, assistant superintendent and director of human resources for WCS.
The next round of Spelling Bee competition for Sam Nystrom will be the regional Spelling Bee in Winston Salem. 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 4,500 students. The WCS system consistently ranks as one of the best in NC as measured by test results, teacher qualifications, and other indicators.