Savvy spellers to tackle orthography
Published 4:24 pm Friday, March 23, 2007
Regional spelling bee returns to Washington Saturday
By DAN PARSONS
Unless it’s a word to be spelled in this year’s competition, the word repeat won’t apply to the champion of the 15th-annual Downeast North Carolina Regional Spelling Bee.
Last year’s champion, Mayee Zhu of South Greenville Elementary School, isn’t returning to defend her title. That means no repeat champion for this year’s event, which begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Washington High School auditorium. Zhu correctly spelled impeccable to win her title.
This year, 89 students are registered to compete in the spelling bee, which is sponsored by PCS Phosphate and the Washington Daily News. The regional spelling bee’s champion advances to the 80th-annual Scripps National Spelling, which will be held May 27 through June 1 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.
The officials lineup for the spelling be is much the same as it’s been in previous years. The master of ceremonies will be Mike Gwynn, manager of public affairs for PCS Phosphate’s Aurora plant. Returning as the pronouncer is Joseph Klotz, an assistant professor at Mount Olive College. John Morgan returns to his duties as the event’s recorder. Curtis Ormond, a communications specialist with PCS Phosphate; Cornell McGill, a community-corrections division chief; and Ray McKeithan, associate publisher of the Daily News, again serve as judges for the spelling bee.
Lou Firth, circulation manager for the Daily News, has been the event organizer since 1999. Even now, the most surprising thing for her is to see the event come off without a hitch, Firth said.
Prizes are awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners. In addition to an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the regional champion and a chaperone, the first-place speller will receive from Merriam-Webster a copy of “Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged,” the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award (a $100 Series EE U.S. Savings Bond), a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online, a $20 Amazon.com gift certificate, a $30 Wal-Mart gift certificate and the first-place trophy from PCS Phosphate and the Daily News.
The speller finishing in second place will receive from Merriam-Webster a copy of Merriam-Webster’s “Collegiate Dictionary (Eleventh Edition),” a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online, a $20 Amazon.com gift certificate and the second-place trophy from PCS Phosphate and the Daily News.
The speller placing third will receive a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online, a $30 Wal-Mart gift certificate and the third-place trophy from PCS Phosphate and the Daily News.
All spelling bee participants will receive a Downeast North Carolina Regional Spelling Bee T-shirt from PCS Phosphate and two copies of the March 23, 2007, edition of the Daily News. That edition includes a full-page ad, including photographs of spellers, about the spelling bee.
For those who haven’t looked it up yet, a definition for orthography is the art or study of correct spelling according to established usage.