Jackson takes the win for JIS spelling bee

Published 3:49 pm Friday, January 12, 2018


It’s spelling bee season, and this week’s bees were all abuzz with the winners who will be progressing to the big one — the county-wide spelling bee, set for Feb. 2.

For Jemison Intermediate School, that will be first place winner Dylan Jackson — a sixth grader who took the win during a Jan. 12 third round, oral bee at the school library.

Runners-up were sixth grader Paige Patton and fifth-grader Dylan Click.

The bee drew a small, supportive crowd of family members to watch the competition between the fourth through sixth graders.

According to Kelcie Broadhead of JIS, two written rounds preceded the oral round. Each student who scored at least 95 percent progressed to the following round, with those scoring highest in the second round competing in the oral third round.

Although 20 students had progressed to the third round, only 18 were present.

The event commenced with a practice round with lower-level words, such as “old,” “how” and “hunt,” to steady participants’ nerves before the official first round.

The official first round of the event kicked off the word “door.” By round 12, the final round before a winner, spelling had intensified to words such as “callous” and “grandiose.”

A participant’s misspelling of the word “atoll” shimmied Jackson into first place, the runners-up still to be determined.

The last few minutes of the bee brought a showdown for the first runner-up title, Patton and Click battling it out in a series of seven words before a misspelling of the word “paralysis” concluded the match.

“I’ve gotten runner-up two years in a row, so this year I was kind of more prepared,” Patton said.

Click described the final, deciding round as “nerve-wracking.” He said he prepared by reading over the list of words given to participants prior to the bee.

Reading seemed to help several of the participants during the competition.

Both boys enjoy reading.

“I tend to do a lot more research than reading, or writing,” Patton said.

To prepare for the bee, Patton said, “I look up the words in a dictionary, usually, and I spell them out with my dad.”

Jackson said standing in front of everyone to spell was “scary” because he was nervous.

Jackson said he did nothing at home to prepare, but had spent 10 minutes before the bee “studying on a piece of paper.”

As first-place winner of the oral third round, Jackson will advance to compete at the county level on Feb. 2 at LeCroy Career Technical Center. Patton and Click will attend to support Jackson and to serve as his alternate if for any reason he is unable to compete.