TAYLOR COUNTY—Orthography, or spelling, is the act of forming words from letters, and is an important skill that one begins learning at a young age. For some, spelling can be a difficult task, but for others it comes easy.
To help those who possess a strong comprehension of spelling show off their skills, each year students around the nation put their knowledge of phonics to the test during annual spelling bees.
A spelling bee is a competition in which contestants are asked to spell a broad selection of words, usually with a varying degree of difficulty. The history of these such competitions dates back to the 1800s, where children would participate within their schools and towns.
It wasn’t until June 17, 1925 that the first National Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Louisville Courier-Journal, was held. In 1941, Scripps-Howard began sponsoring the annual event.
The first champion, 11-year-old Frank Neuhauser of Kentucky, was named for the National Spelling Bee, and since that time, students have competed at school, district, county, regional and state levels in the hopes of moving on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
On January 19, students at Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) took to the stage to make a name for themselves in spelling, during the Taylor County Spelling Bee.
“Back in January, our teachers in the Language Arts Department at TCMS began holding classrooms spelling bees for grades fifth through eighth,” said teacher Dave Poling. “Then, the winners from each classroom competition were invited to take place in the school-wide spelling bee.”
He shared that 16 of the school’s best spellers came to the bee to show what they were made of.
“Over the course of 15 rounds, our students were put to the test, having to spell words ranging from abnormality all the way to peculiarity and beyond,” Poling explained. “So, this was an intense but great competition.”
When all was said and done, three students proved that they possessed a spelling prowess like few other.
Claiming the third-place position was Cade Mooney, and Corrine Miller was named as this year’s runner-up, earning second place.
“And the 2021-2022 TCMS Spelling Bee Champion is Miss Jordan Cox,” Poling announced. “Jordan will advance on and will be representing the school and county at the regional spelling bee.”
The regional event is slated for Saturday, March 18, at University High School in Morgantown.
“I am excited about the accomplishments of these young academics and even more proud of the potential of our students going forward next year with the bee,” expressed Poling. “We, as a school, are very proud of everyone that was able to compete at the county level this year, and we look forward to Jordan’s success at regionals.”