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A Spelling Bee at Speas Global Elementary

For more pictures, go to Your Permanent Record.

Speas 12By Kim Underwood

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

DECEMBER 13, 2021 – Fourth-grader Makenzie Beard has a new favorite word – “tartan.”

That’s the word she spelled correctly to win the school spelling bee at Speas Global Elementary

“I feel good – pretty happy,” Makenzie said, “and I am proud of everyone else.”

Earlier in the competition, she was a little worried after missing “emitting.” With the bee having a double-elimination format, though, she was able to miss that word, keep competing, and go on to win.

Makenzie enjoys learning how to spell words.

“I also love it because spelling gets you far in life,” she said.

Saige Byers, who is in the third grade, placed second. With “wreaked” being the second word she missed, it was her undoing. That was not a problem.

Win 23“Second is fine,” Saige said.

Her favorite word is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” and she plans to grow up to become a surgeon.

“I think being a surgeon helps people, and I like helping people,” she said.

Sixteen students in grades three, four and five who won the bees in their classes competed. On the morning of Friday Dec. 10, everyone gathered in the media center for the school bee.

Chris Runge, the Executive Director of Marketing & Communications for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, had come over to pronounce the words and to give students a sentence that used the word.

Runge does that at the WS/FCS District Bee as well, and, afterward, he told Makenzie he looked forward to seeing her there in February.

Win 89Diane Wooten is the teacher assistant who organized the Speas bee. Serving as judges were Tisha Kadlac, the Media Coordinator; Alexander Prieto Rios, the AIG (Academically Intellectually Gifted) Catalyst; and Kaelyn McIver, an Instructional Facilitator. Liz Eagle, the Testing & Tech Assistant, took care of such technical details as sound.

Before the bee formally began, Runge had each of the contestants come up and spell a simple word such as “dog” and “cat” so they could get comfortable with the logistics of walking up, pulling down their mask, and speaking into a microphone.

Once the bee started at 9 a.m., dogs and cats stuck around by making appearances in the sentences that went with each word. For example, in the sentence for “cuddle,” a girl likes large dogs because there is more of them to cuddle. And it will come as no surprise that a cat made an appearance in the sentence for “sardine.”

Win 11Other sentences gave listeners lots to visualize as the visited a “tidy” bedroom in their imaginations and watched water “gushing” out of an aquarium after a hole was made in the glass.

Students did quite well, and it was 20 minutes before the first contestant was eliminated. As words became more challenging and they missed a second word, more students were eliminated.

It was not yet 10 a.m. when Makenzie was named the winner.

Earlier, with some time before the bee started, students and adults were invited – for fun – to share their favorite word.

Fifth-grader Jackie Mitchell chose “dog.”

“Because I have a lot of them and I like the animal,” Jackie said.

She has three dogs. Allie and Shiloh are Shih Tzus and Samson is a pit bull.

Fifth-grader Martinae Mosely chose “amazing.”

“I feel like everybody is amazing,” she said.

Wooten 56Some people like their word for its meaning. Others like the way it sounds.

Principal Robert Ash chose “serenity.”

“I do like things to smooth along calmly,” he said.

Assistant principal Paul Pressley chose “pulchritudinous,” and Katiana Desgrottes, a High Point University student serving as an administrative intern at Speas, chose “flabbergasted.” 

Speas is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, and Katryna Jacober, the IB Coordinator who was zipping around helping in whatever ways she could, chose “serendipity.”

McIver chose “bogart.”

“I just like using it,” she said.

Judge 45No. 2 on her list is “facetious.”

“I like that one, too,” Kadlac said. 

At first, Wooten chose “delicious.” 

“Some of my favorite foods are the most delicious,” she said

Later, she came back to say, she appreciates the word “caring” even more.

“I like to care for other people and do what I can to make other people’s lives better.” 

The contestants and their grades were:

Madison Wagoner (five)

Martinae Mosely (four)

Tel’lyan Carter (three)

Spell 34Jackie Mitchell (five)

Warren Ritchie (four)

Kolby Anderson (four)

Caleb Sparrow (five)

Ursula Santana (four)

Leilani Collins (three)

Aubrey Smith (three)

Makenize Beard (five)

Daniel Ou (three)

Nylah Coleman (five)

Zaylen Shores (three)

Saige Byers (three)

Conor McCrory (three)