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Woodington seventh grader wins duel of spelling champs

The annual contest to determine the LCPS’s best young speller came down a two-student battle that lasted 26 words before Woodington Middle School seventh grader Rachel Noble correctly, and fittingly, spelled “tumultuous.”

Three students, two girls and boy, pose while holding trophies as spelling bee winners Wesley Vernon, a fifth grader at Southwood Elementary, outlasted 10 other spellers before finishing first runner-up to Rachel. Alexa Hudson, a seventh grader at Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School, was the second runner-up in the contest, held Tuesday night at Northwest Elementary School

For Alexa it was her second trip to the LCPS Spelling Bee – she finished second in the county as a fifth grader – but for Rachel and Wesley, it was their first trip.

All 12 spellers in the county spelling bee qualified by winning their school’s spelling bee.

“I just think I got lucky in winning for my school and came here,” Rachel said, although conceding that luck wasn’t her only ally.

“I study hard. My parents help me a lot,” she said. “I’ll look over the words a couple of times and then my parents will call them out to me and the ones I get wrong I’ll go back over them.”

In all, the spelling bee lasted 17 rounds as spellers burned through words like “palindrome,” “chisel,” “garnet,” “wily” and “precariously.” By the sixth round, the contest was between Rachel and Wesley.

“I just wanted to represent my school well,” Wesley said after the trophy presentation.

In addition to Rachel, Wesley and Alexa, school winners at the county bee were Avery Brock, Banks Elementary; Jaden Powell, Contentnea-Savannah K-8 (elementary); Leslie Mahane, Frink Middle; Caden Daniels, Moss Hill Elementary; Skyler Steele, Northwest Elementary; Layla Porter, Pink Hill Elementary; Maria Flowers, Rochelle Middle; and Nicholas Simmons, Southeast Elementary.

All school winners are eligible to compete in the 26th annual Downeast North Carolina Regional Spelling Bee in Washington, N.C., on March 21. At least one LCPS speller plans to attend.

“I do,” Rachel said. “I want to.”

Photo captions:

(Above) Rachel Noble, center, of Woodington Middle School and winner of the annual LCPS Spelling Bee held Tuesday night is flanked by Wesley Vernon of Southwood Elementary, first runner-up, and Alexa Hudson, Contentnea-Savannah K-8, second runner-up.

(Below) School champs competing at the LCPS Spelling Bee are, from left, front, Radzaer Mathis, La Grange Elementary; Layla Porter, Pink Hill Elementary; Maria Flowers, Rochelle Middle; Caden Daniels, Moss Hill Elementary; Nicholas Simmons, Southeast Elementary; and Avery Brock, Banks Elementary; back, Alexa Hudson, Contentnea-Savannah (6-8); Leslie Mahane, Frink Middle; Jaden Powell, Contentnea-Savannah (K-5); Wesley Vernon, Southwood Elementary; Skyler Steele, Northwest Elementary; and Rachel Nobel, Woodington Middle.

Group of 12 young students pose for the camera holding certificates.