Eleven pupils from Augusta Christian Schools recently won at the Association of Christian Schools International district spelling bee at Ben Lippen School in Columbia.
The first- through eighth - graders won first, second, and third places for their grade levels, competing against eight schools from Columbia, Spartanburg, and Greenville, S.C. The pupils were coached by teachers Tammy West and Sandra Scales.
Mrs. Scales said two pupils per grade were chosen in November and given a list of words to study. One month before the competition, the teachers met with the pupils to practice standing and speaking into a microphone and carefully enunciating words and letters.
"They obviously do real well on their own, because there's no time to coach them during school," Mrs. Scales said.
According to sixth - grader Chelsea Brown, studying was the hardest part of preparation.
These Augusta Christian School pupils won at the Association of Christian Schools International district spelling bee (from left, front row): Darby Burns, first grade, second place; Katie O Reilly, second grade, third place; Anneliese Leahy, second grade, first place; Matt Herzwurm, third grade, second place; Erick Sostre, third grade, first place; (second row): Chelsea Petty, seventh grade, second place; Chelsea Brown, sixth grade, third place; Leah Brown, sixth grade, first place; Stephanie Cipollone, fifth grade, first place; (back row): Zack Herzwurm, eighth grade, first place; and Jennifer Hoefs, eighth grade, second place. Leah Brown, Zack Herzwurm and Chelsea Petty were among the top four overall winners and will compete in the regional bee in Atlanta.
"It was hard because we had to keep up with our regular schoolwork, too," she said.
It was Chelsea's first year competing in the spelling bee. She won third place for sixth grade, The word she missed was "idiomatically."
"I think I got ahead of myself on it, but I'll remember how to spell it from now on," she said.
Nine-year-old Matt Herzwurm, who won second place for third - graders, has been in the spelling bees since he started school. His older brother, Zack, won first place for eighth - graders. Matt said his father makes them write the study words two times each.
Stephanie Cipollone has no doubt that spelling is her favorite subject. Stephanie won first place this year as a fifth-grader. She said she enjoys all of her school work, and would like to be a teacher when she grows up.
Unlike Chelsea and Matt, Stephanie does not have a study routine.
"I just study the words, and the experience (of last year) does help make it easier," said Stephanie, who placed first for fourth - graders last year.
Other Augusta Christian winners were: Darby Burns, first grade, second place; Katie O'Reilly, second grade, third place; Anneliese Leahy, second grade, first place; Erick Sostre, third grade, first place; Chelsea Petty, seventh grade, second place; Leah Brown, sixth grade, first place, Zach Herzwurm, eighth grade, first place; and Jennifer Hoefs, eighth grade, second place.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.