Mayo going to nationals

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Staff Writer

Last year’s third-place finisher was this year’s first-place winner in a regional spelling bee held during the weekend at the Washington High School Performing Arts Center.
Isabella Mayo correctly spelled the word “trajectory” to capture first place in Saturday’s 18th-annual Downeast North Carolina Regional Spelling Bee.
Mayo obtained the third-place ranking in last year’s spelling bee.
Among other prizes, Mayo won an all-expenses-paid trip to represent her region in the 83rd-annual National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
“I’m very happy,” the P.S. Jones Middle School student said after Saturday’s competition.
Mayo’s parents, Rob and Christa, were in the audience Saturday.
“She studied a lot, so I’m happy for her,” the mother said.
Also on hand was Mayo’s language-arts teacher, Ashley Davis.
“She worked hard on her own,” Davis said. “I’m very proud of her, and I’m really excited.”
Rounding out the top three among the 39 competitors who turned out were second-place speller Maile McNaughton of First Flight Middle School on the Outer Banks and third-place contestant Amanda Keiper of S.W. Snowden Elementary School in Aurora.
Keiper said she prepared for Saturday’s challenge by studying a list of words provided to the participants and writing down the words she didn’t know.
She acknowledged being “a little bit” nervous while appearing onstage, but indicated she was pleased with ending up in the top three.
McNaughton said she also prepared by studying the list.
Asked how she felt after the spelling bee, she said, “Good. I didn’t think I was going to place.”
Finalists in the spelling bee were drawn from schools across the east, from locations as diverse as Ayden, Arapahoe, Cape Hatteras and Chocowinity.
The happening was sponsored by PotashCorp Aurora and the Washington Daily News.
The mistress of ceremonies was Michelle Vaught, manager of public affairs for PotashCorp Aurora.
The pronouncer was news anchor Dave Jordan of WITN-TV.
The recorder was John Morgan, retired register of deeds for Beaufort County.
The judges were Cornell McGill, a division administrator with the N.C. Division of Community Correction, and Curtis Ormond, communications specialist with PotashCorp.
Lou Firth, circulation manager of the Daily News, was coordinator of the spelling bee.