Spelling bee ends in tie

Test to determine winner to be given today

LISBON — Two county spellers emerged at the top of the pack on Wednesday when a test replaced the traditional Columbiana County Spelling Bee.

Sarah Thompson of Lisbon and Mya Harsh of Salem will compete in a second test today in order to break the tie and determine the county’s champion for the 62nd annual bee.

On Wednesday the county’s top spellers were given 35 minutes to complete a 30 word spelling test. Harsh and Thompson scored 22 out of 30 correct to outpace the rest of the field which came from schools throughout the county.

Two students also tied for second runner up — Mystia Myers of Southern Local and Elias Keshock of United. Both will be awarded the second runner up trophy after scoring 20 out of 30 on the test.

Although the words on the test have not been released there were some tough words on the test, according to Maria Williams, director of teaching and learning and language arts consultant at the Columbiana County Educational Service Center.

This year 36 of the county’s top spellers from 10 local schools vied for the chance to represent Columbiana County at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Orlando, Fla. later this summer.

As opposed to gathering for annual County Spelling Bee, the format changed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The competitors were asked to log onto an online test platform on Wednesday and spell the 30 words pronounced by Scripps National Spelling Bee pronouncer Dr. Jacques Bailly. All of the students spelled the same words.

The three local newspapers — The Morning Journal, The Review and The Salem News — sponsor the county spelling bee each year, providing local prizes and a possible trip to the National Spelling Bee for the winner and an adult chaperone.

Last year’s county winner was Chloe Gill from the Columbiana Exempted Village School District. Unfortunately she did not get to attend the 2020 National Spelling Bee because it was canceled due to the pandemic. It was the first time the national bee was canceled since World War I, according to Williams.


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