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Paynesville Press - February 25, 2004

Eighth grader wins spelling bee

By Michael Jacobson

Eighth grader Katrina Daby won the spelling bee at Paynesville Area Middle School last week, correctly spelling "heavenly" and "anvil" as her final two words. Daby spelled 11 words correctly to defeat the 11 other contestants in the spelling bee.

Katrina Daby wins spelling bee The spelling bee - originally scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 11 - was delayed when school was closed early that day and was held instead on Tuesday, Feb. 17.

Katrina Daby (right) accepts her first place trophy from moderator Randy Ziemer after winning the middle school spelling bee last week. She advanced to compete at the regional competition on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

The spelling bee featured 12 contestants, four from each grade (sixth, seventh, and eighth grade). Five students successfully spelled seven words each. Each grade chose their spelling bee representatives by a grade-level competition.

Lasting into Round 8 were: sixth grader Sam Bungum, Daby, eighth grader Colby Peterson, seventh grader Heather Rondeau, and sixth grader Stephanie Theel.

But the word list is designed to get tougher after 75 words, said organizer Randy Ziemer, a middle school teacher. Two students were eliminated in Round 7, another in Round 8, and two more in Round 9, leaving only Daby and Rondeau. When Rondeau missed on "sabbath," leaving out one "b," Daby won by spelling two words correctly. (The rules require that the winner win by two words.)

Spelling bee Peterson won a tie-breaker with Bungum to take third.

Eighth grader Katrina Daby, sitting, writes down her word during the spelling bee final on Tuesday, Feb. 17, as finalist Heather Rondeau, a seventh grader, at left, and moderator Randy Ziemer wait.

Other finalists were seventh grader Kaitlin Burlingame, sixth grader Matthew Everson, seventh grader Brianna Fischbach, eighth grader Brandon Soine, eighth grader Christine Spanier, seventh grader Alex Van Eck, and sixth grader Aaron Zenner.

Words that the students spelled correctly included bandage, earnest, oppress, tunic, and tutu. Words that they missed included rosy (extra "e"), reevaluate (left out an "e"), chocolate (left out "o"), and wok (the dish, erroneously spelled as the verb "walk").

Daby, the daughter of Kristin and Ralph Daby, and Rondeau, the daughter of Edward and Jane Rondeau, each received a trophy for their first- and second-place finish respectively. The top three, including Peterson, the son of Cary and Rebecca Peterson, received medals.

Daby advanced to section competition, which was held at St. John's University on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

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