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Regional spelling bee competition yields winners

Southeast Education Service Center 2010 Regional Spelling Bee winners include Shaydee Murray third place, Eli Beck first place and Kira Simpson, second place. On the right is Cady Mecham, Green River Sterling Scholar in Language Arts who assisted as judge.

Eli Beck, an eighth grader from Albert R. Lyman Middle School in Blanding is the 2010 Regional Spelling Bee Winner.

The Bee was sponsored by the Southeast Education Service Center and held March 11 at the Green River High School auditorium in Green River.

Beck will continue the competition against other top spellers throughout the nation at the Scripps Bee Week 2010, May 31 - June 5 in Washington, D. C.

For winning the Regional Bee, Eli received an all-expense paid trip for two to Washington, D. C. to compete in the national bee, a trophy, a $100 savings bond donated by Samuel Louis Sugarman, and a Webster's International Edition Dictionary.

Second place honors went to Kira Simpson, an eighth grader also from R. Lyman Middle School. Finishing in third place was Shaydee Murray, an eighth grader from Canyon View Jr. High in Huntington.

All three winners received a year's subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online. In addition, Kira and Shaydee received a $20 gift card to

The three winners went through a rigorous 30 rounds as Larry Davis, the principal at Emery High, pronounced the words. Shaydee was eliminated in that round by "basmati" (an aromatic long-grained rice from Southeast Asia). With the field narrowed down to two, the rapid fire action went back and forth for another 19 rounds until Kira missed "uppityness". Since Eli correctly spelled "heron" the rules required him to spell one more word correctly. His final word was "aptitude" in the 50th and final round.

All three winners were experienced bee winners over the past years. Eli and Kira went head to head in their District Bee this year with Kira taking first place honors there. Shaydee repeated honors as third place winner in 2009 and this year's Region contest. Correct spelling decisions were ratified by a panel of judges: Johnna Boyack (SESC), Jared Black (Emery District) and Cady Mecham, Green River Sterling Scholar in Language Arts.

Fifteen fifth to eighth grade contestants from Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan previously won top honors in their school and district spelling bees to qualify and compete in Thursday's Regional Bee.

Contestants from Carbon included Paul Bryner (fifth grade from Creekview), Jordan Mills and Cameron Mogensen (fifth grade from Wellington).

The Scripps Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational promotion, administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company and sponsors in the United States, American Samoa, Canada, China, Europe, Ghana, Guam, Jamaica, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The champion of each sponsor's final spelling bee advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. The Bee's purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

The Louisville Courier-Journal started the event with nine contestants in 1925. In 1941 Scripps assumed sponsorship of the program. There was no Scripps National Spelling Bee during the World War II years of 1943, 1944, and 1945. Co-champions were declared in 1950, 1957, and 1962. Of the 84 champions, 43 have been girls and 41 have been boys.

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