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Spelling champ: Madison Rhodes wins county competition

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Eleven students participated in the Chilton County Schools county level spelling bee on Jan. 31.

After 10 rounds of competition, Isabella’s Madison Rhodes took the win by correctly spelling “organza.” Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as “a sheer dress fabric.”

When the competition got down to only two spellers, a speller had to correctly spell two words in a row to be named the winner.

A panel of three judges listened throughout the bee to determine whether a word was spelled correctly.

Madison said when the championship word was announced she was not sure she knew how to spell the word.

“I was so scared,” Madison said.

This was her third time to compete at the county level. Since she is in eighth grade, it was also the last year she would be able to compete in the event.

Madison will go on to compete at the state level of competition in March. She said she plans to write out the words and spell them aloud to study for the competition.

“I like how it feels when I go up to spell my word because it is so nerve-racking,” Madison said.

The runner-up trophy went to Angeleah Tilley of Clanton Middle School. (CMS spelling bee winner Chase Lowe could not make it to the county competition, so as the school’s runner-up Angeleah competed in her place.)

This was Angeleah’s second time competing at the county level after coming in second last year. She said coming in second again this year felt “really great.”

She was excited about the new trophy design.

This year’s competition had begun with the word “cloudy.” Some words that proved challenging along the way were gimmick, dandruff, headdress, butterscotch and winsome.

The competition was held at LeCroy Career Technical Center.

The annual spelling bee is open to students in third through eighth grades.