Tricounty News

State Spelling Bee

State Bee goes 26 Rounds; Emma Greenlee advances to Nationals – Again

It took 26 rounds, and a demonstration of impressive spelling skill before Emma Greenlee, an eighth-grader from Mesabi East-Aurora, captured the title of Champion by correctly spelling emblema. Emma was also the 2012 Multi-Region State Bee Champion. Millie Piper, an eighth-grader from Fulda School, was named First Runner-Up.

The Bee began with 21 spellers. It took eight rounds of challenging words to narrow the field to eight spellers. By round 16, only Emma and Millie remained. Between rounds 16 and 26, both girls impressed the audience with their spelling prowess. For example, Emma correctly spelled tokamak, mélange, mukhtar, thalassic, bruschetta, and balaclava, while Millie spelled trepak, temblor, slumgullion, iridectomy, epaxial, and promethean before misspelling labyrinthine.

“It’s a really good feeling to be Champion. I’m excited to get to go to Washington, D.C. again,” commented Emma. “I’m excited to see if I recognize anyone from last year, and I am anxious to go to one restaurant again. And I really liked the memorials, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, and the Zoo.”

“I think everyone in attendance was awed by the poise and ability these young people displayed today. All 21 of them deserve to be champions,” commented Susan Ward, State Coordinator.

The Bee was held at Lakes Country Service Cooperative, Fergus Falls; Northeast Service Cooperative, Mt. Iron; Northwest Service Cooperative, Thief River Falls; Resource Training & Solutions,
St. Cloud; and Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative, Marshall sponsor the Multi-Region State Spelling Bee.

Pronouncer for the Bee is Laureen Svobodny, and officials are Paul Carney, Jon Harris, Norm Kolstad, and Collette Cox. Assistant is Jolene King from Lakes Country Service Cooperative.

The National Bee is in Washington, D.C. at the end of May. To prepare, Emma intends to focus on the words from the lists provided, as well as spend some more time with the dictionary.  “Minnesota has not had a national champion since 2001. Emma is the one who could change that,” said Susan Ward.

Submitted by Susan Ward