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Wellsburg student wins Brooke bee

May 9, 2013
By WARREN SCOTT - Staff writer ( , Weirton Daily Times

WELLSBURG - Sixth-grader Emily Donley of Wellsburg Middle School certainly had reason to be jubilant after winning the Brooke County Spelling Bee Wednesday at Follansbee Middle School.

And jubilant and accrued were the two words she spelled correctly to win the competition, which involved 48 pupils from grades 4-8 at nine Brooke County schools.

The daughter of Henry and Yvonne Donley, she faced Max Weekley, a seventh-grader from Wellsburg Middle School, in the contest's eighth and final round.

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BROOKE BEE WINNERS — Pupils in fourth to eighth grades from nine schools participated in the Brooke County Spelling Bee Wednesday at Follansbee Middle School. In addition to overall winner Emily Donley of Wellsburg Middle School, first, second and third place awards were presented for each grade based upon the number of rounds they endured or by lottery in the event of a tie. The awarded students were, from left, front: first place winners Donley, sixth grade; Alana Scott, fourth grade; Kohl Ellis, fifth grade; Haydon Heiserman, eighth grade; and Max Weekley, who finished second behind Donley and placed first for seventh grade; middle: second place recipients Connor Combs, sixth grade; Griffin Smith, eighth grade; Gage Keener, fifth grade; Margaret Camilletti, seventh grade; and Ethan Robey, fourth grade; and back: third place awardees Chris Heinen, fifth grade; Mikayla Wood, seventh grade; Mykenzie Findling, fourth grade; Lexie Roden, sixth grade; and Tori Sexton-Smith, eighth grade. -- Warren Scott

In a change from previous years, first, second and third place finishers were named for each grade based on the number of rounds they endured or, in the event that two or more students shared the same number of rounds, by randomly drawing from their contestant numbers.

Top finishers for each grade level were:

Fourth: Alana Scott of Jefferson Primary School, first; Ethan Robey of Colliers Primary School, second; and Mykenzie Fielding of Wellsburg Primary School, third.

Fifth: Kohl Ellis of Wellsburg Middle School, first; Gage Keener of Wellsburg Middle School, second; and Chris Heinen of Follansbee Middle School, third.

Sixth: Donley, first; and Connor Combs and Lexie Roden, both of Follansbee Middle School, second and third, respectively.

Seventh: Weekley, first; and Margaret Camilletti and Mikayla Wood, both of Wellsburg Middle School, second and third, respectively.

Eighth: Haydon Heiserman of Follansbee Middle School, first; Griffin Smith of Follansbee Middle School, second; and Tori Smith-Sexton of Wellsburg Middle School, third.

During the course of the contest, pupils correctly spelled such diverse words as whiskery, factoid, transfixed, amigo, snarky, toilsome, widget, covetous and implicit.

The number of participants was narrowed gradually, with 11 in the sixth round and five in the seventh.

All of the participants advanced to the county bee after winning bees at their schools and were presented certificates and T-shirts commemorating the event.

The Brooke County Spelling Bee returned after a five-year hiatus through the efforts of Dolly Kidder, reading specialist for the school district.

The bee is not part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee this year.

Among the many assisting Kidder were Dwight McUmar, a teacher at Wellsburg Middle School, who served as pronouncer; school board member Chad Haught and retired teachers Carol Churchman, Sharon Cuomo and Sandy Baldauf, who served as judges; and teachers Yolanda Elliott, Brandi Reinacher, Holly Kisner, Erin Ankrum and John Zumpetta.

The Brooke County Council PTA provided refreshments.

The other participants were: Lance Elliott of Beech Bottom Primary School, Ryan Bennett of Colliers Primary School, Ryan Aston of Lauretta B. Millsop Primary School, Alexis Spensky and Shawn Younciak of Hooverson Heights Primary School, Max Camilletti, Noah Wilson, Riley McAllister, Corey Kins, Alyssa Garretson, Dante Johnson, A.J. Mitchell, Braxton Bone, Tony Apesos, Rebecca Conaway, John Hall, Chaz Bryan, Kevin Burdine, Alexis Jordan-McClarty and Garrett Finsley, all of Wellsburg Middle School; and Lacey Keith, Paige Williams, Brennan Secrist, Rachel Kazmirski, Dalton Walnoha, Adam Bauldin, Matthew Reed, Jaycee Mitchell, Gloria Prosser, Brandon Layton, DeLora Burdine, Kaitlyn Jenkins, Amanda Zonker, Alexia Murdock, Zack Barnhart, A.J. Marzullo, Emily Bernardini, Lydia Betancart, Devon Barnhart and Skylar English, all of Follansbee Middle School.

(Scott can be contacted at

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