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Daniel Vaughan Takes Watauga Spelling Bee PDF Print
Written by Marshall Ashcraft   
Monday, 10 October 2011 06:22

After 2 practice rounds and a record 19 rounds of competition, seventh grader Daniel Vaughan of Cove Creek School emerged as the winner of the Watauga County Schools Spelling Bee for 2011-12.  Christian Colby, a sixth grade student at Parkway, was runner up and was the only remaining contestant to Vaughan for at least the last five rounds.
Curriculum Director Meredith Jones, who coordinates the Spelling Bee, said afterward that at one point she began to think “we might need more words - these kids can spell everything!”
“Stupefy” was the final word spelled by Vaughan to conclude this year’s Bee.  On the way there, the contestants weren’t stopped by “intermission” or “blockade” and handled a host of words seldom used in conversations by students or adults.
In addition to Vaughan and Colby, the school winners participating in the 2011-12 Spelling Bee included Anna Phillips from Bethel, Hayden Uzelac from Blowing Rock, Jacob Price from Green Valley, Emma Harkins from Hardin Park, Chase Otto from Mabel, and William Nelsen from Valle Crucis.  Each school’s champion advanced to the countywide Spelling Bee after winning the competition among 4th through 8th grade students at their school.
In his welcoming remarks, Superintendent Dr. Marty Hemric told the eight contestants “I join with parents, teachers, and all the others here to commend all of you on being champions already.”  Dr. Hemric also took note of the sponsors of the Spelling Bee, pointing out that their support is very important and greatly appreciated.
This year, the sponsors of the Watauga County Schools Spelling Bee included Appalachian State University Basketball, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Boone Bowling Center, Chick-fil-A, Custard Depot, Hardee’s of Boone, Harris Teeter, High Country Bank, the Mast Store Candy Barrel, Tweetsie Railroad, and Wendy’s.  These sponsors made it possible for each classroom winner and runner up to be recognized with prizes, with the school winners and county champion receiving additional rewards. 
Associate Superintendent Dr. Scarlet Davis introduced and thanked those who helped make the Spelling Bee possible.  The listed included Watauga Board of Education member John Welch, Boone Area Chamber of Commerce President Dr. Dan Meyer, and Green Valley School’s Teacher of the Year Kim Bentley, all of whom contributed their time as judges for the event, and Board of Education Chair Deborah Miller, who served as pronouncer.  Behind the scenes, Meredith Jones and Angela Hampton of the central office worked with school level coordinators to make sure the school level competitions and the countywide Spelling Bee came together in the right way and on schedule. 
The tradition of the Watauga County Schools Spelling Bee extends back to at least 1960.

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