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Local students do well in regional spelling bee

Southeast Education Service Center 2010 Regional Spelling Bee winners include Shaydee Murray third place, Eli Beck first place and Kira Simpson, second place.

Eli Beck, eighth grader from Albert R. Lyman Middle School in Blanding, Utah, is the 2010 Regional Spelling Bee Winner. The Bee was sponsored by the Southeast Education Service Center and held on March 11 at Green River High School auditorium in Green River.

Fifteen fifth-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 the competition.

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

Students from Pinnacle Academy included Katie Reynolds, sixth, McKenna Bair sixth, and John Muselmann, fifth grade.

Emery District winners were Shaydee Murray, (8th grade Canyon View), Nicole Huntsman (sixth grade Cleveland), and Tyrell Shumway (sixth grade Book Cliff).

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

Second place honors went to Kira Simpson, 8th grader from R. Lyman Middle School in Blanding. Finishing in third place was Shaydee Murray, 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, 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.

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 1943-44, 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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