Picture of the Spelling Bee Winners for 2017

Olivia Bale, Edge ES, Wins 2017 OCSD Spelling Bee

Olivia Bale, Edge Elementary School, won the Okaloosa County School District Spelling Bee held on January 19th at Niceville High School.  She will go on to compete in the Big Bend Regional Spelling Bee in Tallahassee, Florida, on February 18th.  If Olivia does well there, she could be eligible to take place in the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee being held in Washington, D.C.

Miranda Gillaspy, Destin Middle School, placed second and Creanna Shaw, Davidson Middle School, placed third.

“It takes a lot of courage and determination for a student to enter and win a spelling bee,” said Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson.  “I am so proud of every student in Okaloosa County who competed in his or her school’s spelling bee.  To make it to the Okaloosa County Spelling Bee speaks volumes as to the quality and character of all the students here tonight.  Congratulations as you are all winners already!”

The purpose of the spelling bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives. 

Picture of the Spelling Bee Participants for 2017

Spelling Bee Participants:

Antioch ES – Aiden Black, Laynie Styron
Bluewater ES – Jonas Terrell, Marisol Enguidanos
Bob Sikes ES – Kiley Hulion, Brianna Lane
Bruner ES – Paula Capili, Brianna Murray
Davidson ES – Creanna Shaw, Paiten Prescott
Destin ES – Brayden McClellan, Lanayah Smith
Destin MS – Xak Bartenbach, Miranda Gillaspy
Edge ES – Olivia Bale, Sam Knight
Edwins ES – Aidan Blow, Esther Moon
Elliott Point ES – Bryson Nixon, Jaden Orsini
Florosa ES – Trustin Canada, Madison Harrigan
Kenwood ES – Ethan Combs, Aubrey Baer
Mary Esther ES – Cedrick Jordan, Alyssa Campbell
Meigs MS – Riley Bates, Edriel Valencia
Northwood ES – Trista Bennett, Mary Richard
Plew ES – Henry Blake, Clarris Henry
Pryor MS – Amya Stokes, Aidan Martinez-Jackson
Riverside ES – Cayden McKelvey, Hope Stoutenburgh
Ruckel MS – Angela Crenshaw, Marina Bocchino
Shalimar ES – Alaina Bludworth, Samantha Davis
STEMM MS – Grace Hickey, Sarah Rayen
Wright ES – Mara Zelca, Tai Chassion

“I am proud of all the Spelling Bee participants,” said Marcus Chambers, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum. “You exemplify Okaloosa County’s vision of inspiring a lifelong passion for learning.  I applaud your academic fortitude and dedication.  You are truly an inspiration!”

Students can prepare for spelling bees using a variety of materials including, Merriam-Webster.com, programmed for superior word power and language fun and features;  Alpha-bot, the word-spelling robot hosting the latest amazing word game and challenges spellers of all ages; and Spell It! the Scripps National Spelling Bee study site for school spelling champions created in cooperation with Merriam-Webster.  Spell It! focuses on about 1150 words, divided into sections by language of origin.  Studying language of origin will enable you to learn and remember several important rules, tips, and guidelines for successfully spelling words in English—the most challenging language of all for spellers.

Click here to see the National Spelling Bee’s study tips.

Test your spelling skills! 

The Pronouncer for the evening was Denise McLaughlin, Professional Development Specialist, and the judges were Joe Peterson, District Data Specialist; JulieAnn Smith, ELA District Instructional Coach; Sandy Arteaga, Title I/X Specialist; and Garrett Floyd, Niceville Insurance.

Special thanks to Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson, the Okaloosa County School Board, Marcus Chambers, Sheila Lightbourne, Jeff Palmer, Melissa Bowell, Denise Reichal, the School Principals, School Spelling Bee Representatives, Okaloosa School District Print Shop, Linda Pinkert, Amber Floyd, Bay Area Awards, Niceville, and Accent Signs.

Pictured above are (left to right): Olivia Bale, Edge Elementary School, Miranda Gillaspy, Destin Middle School, and Creanna Shaw, Davidson Middle School.

Visit the OCSD Facebook page to see a complete photo gallery of this event.