Oct. 13, 2014. Sarah Tyndall, an eighth grader at Cove Creek School won the Watauga County Schools Spelling Bee Friday, correctly spelling “harpsichord” as the final word in the competition.
In addition to Sarah, the other school champions participating in Friday’s competition included Parker Lawrence of Bethel, Grace Ayers of Blowing Rock, Tegan Allan of Green Valley, Rebecca Anderson of Hardin Park, Isaiah Watson of Mabel, Elizabeth Coffey of Parkway, and Tyler Osmond of Valle Crucis. Each school champion advanced to the WCS finals of the Spelling Bee following a competition among 4th through 8th grade students at their school.
Not surprisingly, Sarah Tyndall said she loves reading, and she also considers math and writing enjoyable activities at school. Though young, she is not new to success in academic competition. She was a member of the Cove Creek Battle of the Books team that took second place in last year’s middle school Battle of the Books competition.
In his introductory remarks, Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott told the students “we don’t say often enough how much we admire you, respect you, and appreciate you for how hard you work. All of you are already winners for what you have accomplished to be here today.” Elliott added that the definitions of a “bee” event include its meaning as “a time when a community comes together to celebrate something important. We’re coming here today to celebrate your success.”
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, Appalachian State University Athletics, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Boone Bowling Center, Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine, Grandfather Mountain, First Citizens Bank, Linville Caverns, Mast General Store, Mystery Hill, Tweetsie Railroad, and Yadkin Bank.
Meredith Jones, director of elementary education, and Tamara Stamey, director of middle grades education, serve as co-directors of the Spelling Bee and were assisted in coordinating the event by Renee Battle of the central office staff and by school level coordinators at each of the K-8 schools.
Human Resources Director Dr. Stephen Martin read the rules for the Spelling Bee and served as the pronouncer for the event. The panel of judges included Ron Henries of the Watauga County Board of Education, Boone Area Chamber of Commerce President Dr. Dan Meyer, and WCS Instructional Technology Support Specialist Ike Smith.
The next round of Spelling Bee competition for the WCS winner will be the regional competition in Winston Salem in March. The tradition of the Watauga County Schools Spelling Bee is over 50 years old.
The Watauga County Schools system consists of eight K-8 schools and one comprehensive high school with a combined total enrollment of approximately 4,400 students. The WCS system consistently ranks as one of the best in NC as measured by test results and by teacher qualifications.