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Whipple wins county spelling bee

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Jayson Whipple pauses, working out the spelling of his next word

The Johnson County Spelling Bee winner Jayson Whipple pauses, working out the spelling of his next word on Tuesday morning in the final rounds against Ayva Duarte. Whipple won the bee with the word abyss.

Thirty students grades third through eighth gathered together for the annual county spelling bee competition on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in the Buffalo High School Auditorium. With students participating from Kaycee Schools, Cloud Peak Elementary and Clear Creek Middle School, the group dwindled over the course of several rounds from 30 to the final winner - Jayson Whipple. The top five students will compete in the state spelling bee on March 20. 

Mike Scarlett checks to make sure everyone has gone

Mike Scarlett, a sixth grade language arts teacher at Clear Creek Middle School, checks to make sure everyone had taken their turn before concluding the first round on Tuesday morning in the BHS auditorium. Scarlett moderated the spelling bee, reading words, definitions and sample sentences for students before they were tasked with spelling them.

Tye Tanachion pauses, rubbing his chin

Clear Creek sixth grader Tye Tanachion pauses, rubbing his chin while he thinks about how to spell the word “parishioner” on Tuesday morning. Tye Tanachion finished in third place for the school bee and will continue on with the top five to the state competition.

Sienna Lulias balances her heal against the chair

Sienna Lulias balances her heal against the chair as she returns to her seat on Tuesday morning in the BHS auditorium. Lulias finished in the top five of the bee, meaning she will represent Johnson County at the state bee.

Grace Gosskop, a fourth grader at Cloud Peak Elementary

Grace Gosskop, a fourth grader at Cloud Peak Elementary, waits in her seat after successfully spelling one of her words on Tuesday morning in the BHS auditorium. Thirty students from Cloud Peak Elementary, Clear Creek Middle School and Kaycee schools competed in the bee.

Ayva Duarte stares up at the ceiling as she works through her next word

Clear Creek eighth grader Ayva Duarte stares up at the ceiling as she works through her next word on Tuesday morning in the BHS auditorium. Duarte finished in second after several back and forth rounds to decide the winner.

Johnson County's top five finishers

From left, Ayva Duarte, Tye Tanachion, Jayson Whipple, Jamie Curuchet and Sienna Lulias. These top five finishers will represent Johnson County at the state spelling bee.

Photojournalist

Jessi Dodge joined the Bulletin as a photojournalist and a Report for America corp member in 2020. If you have ideas or comments, reach out at jessi@buffalobulletin.com.

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