WELLSBURG - Eighth-grader Ashley Eby of Wellsburg Middle School was at the top of a small army of Brooke County pupils participating in the county's annual spelling bee Wednesday so it was fitting that brigadier was one of the two words she spelled correctly to clinch the win.
The other was anemone, which brought an end to several rounds in which she competed against Dante Johnson, also an eighth-grader at Wellsburg Middle School.
The daughter of Dave and Nikki Eby, she said she reviewed almost daily 100 words from a list of hundreds given to her and the other competitors to prepare for the contest, which was held at Wellsburg Middle School.
BEE WINNERS — Pupils in grades 4-8 from nine schools participated in the Brooke County Spelling Bee Wednesday at Wellsburg Middle School. In addition to overall winner Ashley Eby, an eighth-grader at Wellsburg Middle School, first, second and third place winners were named for each grade based upon the number of rounds they endured or by lottery in the event of a tie. The winners were, from left, front, first place winners Emily Donley, seventh grade; Eby, Landon Daniels, sixth grade; Emily Sabatino, fourth grade; and Ethan Robey, fifth grade; middle, second place finishers Cheyenne Boyer, seventh grade; Alana Scott, fifth grade; Josh Ferguson, sixth grade; Dante Johnson, eighth grade; and Abby Calvert, fourth grade; and back, third place finishers Ryan Aston, fifth grade; Sarah Moore, sixth grade; Michaela Mahan, seventh grade; Max Weekley, eighth grade; and Sophi Gray, fourth grade. Johnson finished second in the bee after competing against Eby for several rounds. -- Warren Scott
More than 50 pupils from grades 4-8 at the county's two middle schools and seven primary schools participated in the contest, which ended after 20 rounds.
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.
Finishers for each grade level were:
Fourth grade: Emily Sabatino of Hooverson Heights Primary School, first; Abby Calvert of Franklin Primary School, second; and Sophi Gray of Hooverson Heights Primary School, third.
Fifth grade: Ethan Robey of Wellsburg Middle School, first; Alana Scott of Follansbee Middle School, second; and Ryan Aston of Follansbee Middle School, third.
Sixth grade: Landon Daniels of Follansbee Middle School, first; Josh Ferguson of Wellsburg Middle School, second; and Sarah Moore of Wellsburg Middle School, third.
Seventh grade: Emily Donley of Wellsburg Middle School, first; Cheyenne Boyer of Follansbee Middle School, second; and Michaela Mahan of Wellsburg Middle School, third.
Eighth grade, Eby, first; Johnson, second; and Max Weekley of Wellsburg Middle School, third.
Trophies provided by department heads at the Brooke County Board of Education office were presented to each winner. T-shirts were provided for all participants by principals of the participating schools.
As pronouncer for the contest, teacher Dwight McUmar challenged the contestants to spell a variety of challenging words.
They included pandit, schloss, isinglass, maladroit, anticoagulant, conundrum, analgesia and latitudinarian.
Serving as judges were Chad Haught, a member of the Brooke County school board; and retired teachers Sandy Baldauf, Sharon Cuomo and Betty Lou Harris.
Brian Rea served as the timer while Amanda Schey was the word checker.
Dolly Kidd, reading coach for Brooke County Schools and the bee's coordinator, thanked all of them as well as several teachers who assisted with the event and the Brooke County Council PTSA, who provided refreshments.
She applauded all of the participants for their hard work in preparing for the event and their parents and teachers for supporting them.
(Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)