Nine will vie for title of county’s top speller

Published 5:24 pm Thursday, January 27, 2011


The field for the 2011 Chilton County Spelling Bee will be deeper than ever.

Nine schools will be represented at this year’s bee, one more than last year.

Each county school, not including high schools, will send one representative to the bee, which is for grades 3-8.

Jemison High School will have a speller in the bee because it includes the eighth grade this year while Jemison Middle School is being renovated.

Bee contestants will range from elementary school students to high schoolers, but event coordinator Adriane Dennis said not to think the younger spellers won’t have a chance.

“They take it just as seriously; it’s a big deal for them,” said Dennis, who is also a program supervisor for special education in Chilton County.

The bee will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 10 at the Alabama Power Conference Center and is open to the public.

Participants will have already won their respective school’s bee, and will compete for a berth in the state spelling bee, scheduled for March 5 at Oak Mountain High School in Shelby County.

Chilton County spellers have been studying a list of 275 words, and some have dipped into a database of words on, which includes entries that could be used if the original list is exhausted.

During the competition, spellers are allowed to ask for the definition of the word and part of speech, and for the word to be used in a sentence.

School system employees Pat Daugherty, Christine Davis and Matthew Staggs will serve as judges for the bee, which is organized through Scripps National Spelling Bee.

WSFA television news anchor Sally Pitts has served as moderator the past two years, and Dennis said she expects Pitts to resume the role again.

Dennis said she thinks the bee benefits county students.

“I think it’s a good experience for them to get to meet people around the county,” she said.

Contestants in the 2011 Chilton County Spelling Bee are: Austin Creamer, sixth grade at Maplesville; Alana Delariva, fourth grade at Verbena; Isaac Graham, fifth grade at Isabella; Ada Ruth Huntley, sixth grade at Clanton Middle; Justin Macks, fifth grade at Jemison Middle; Bryson Mims, third grade at Clanton Intermediate; Jaren Swindle, fourth grade at Jemison Elementary; Mikala Thornton, eighth grade at Jemison High; and Lauren Wyatt, sixth grade at Thorsby.