2018-02-15 / Life in Leelanau

Prepare to BEE Amazed

St. Mary to host county spelling bee Wednesday
By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff


ADVANCING TO the Leelanau County Spelling Bee next Wednesday are Pathfinder students (front row, from left) Harper Flees and Malia Dickinson (alternate); (back row from left) Rowan Schultz, Zachary Childs (school champion) Mariah Moore, Rose Ryan and David Love. ADVANCING TO the Leelanau County Spelling Bee next Wednesday are Pathfinder students (front row, from left) Harper Flees and Malia Dickinson (alternate); (back row from left) Rowan Schultz, Zachary Childs (school champion) Mariah Moore, Rose Ryan and David Love. Thirty of the county’s top student spellers will gather at Lake Leelanau St. Mary next week to compete in the annual Leelanau County Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Leelanau Enterprise.

The bee will begin at 7 p.m. next Wednesday, Feb. 21.

Over the past month students at five of the seven schools in the county have been put to the test and emerged to represent their schools in the county bee.

Among the participating schools is the Pathfinder School in Greilickville, which always has strong spellers and a loyal contingent of supporters.

David Love, 11, will be representing Pathfinder for a third straight year. He qualified for the first time at age 9, beating out an eighth grader to become Pathfinder’s spelling champion.


SUTTONS BAY School’s top spellers rose to the top in the school bee and will go on to the Leelanau County Spelling Bee next Wednesday at Lake Leelanau St. Mary. Pictured (from left) are Principal Shawn Walbecq, bee champion Alydia Floyd, Lleyton Krumlauf, Maggie Napont, Tommy Engle, Minnie Bardenhagen and Jabin Aguliar. Not pictured is alternate Casey Porter. SUTTONS BAY School’s top spellers rose to the top in the school bee and will go on to the Leelanau County Spelling Bee next Wednesday at Lake Leelanau St. Mary. Pictured (from left) are Principal Shawn Walbecq, bee champion Alydia Floyd, Lleyton Krumlauf, Maggie Napont, Tommy Engle, Minnie Bardenhagen and Jabin Aguliar. Not pictured is alternate Casey Porter. “When he was 9, David went head-to-head with an eighth grader,” Pathfinder head of school Rob Hansen said. “The runoff took about 15 minutes. It was great.”

Pathfinder students are given a Spell It! study guide developed by the Scripps National Spelling Bee in cooperation with Merriam-Webster. The guide focuses on about 1,150 words, divided into sections by language of origin. The language of origin can help students remember important rules, tips and guidelines for successfully spelling words.


THE WINNER of the St. Mary School Spelling Bee is Jenaya Thoreson, pictured far left. The others advancing to the county spelling bee next week (from left) Jacqueline Herne, Kendra Couturier, Jenna Beman, Cecelia Gallagher, Meghan Bidoul and Jack Glynn, alternate. THE WINNER of the St. Mary School Spelling Bee is Jenaya Thoreson, pictured far left. The others advancing to the county spelling bee next week (from left) Jacqueline Herne, Kendra Couturier, Jenna Beman, Cecelia Gallagher, Meghan Bidoul and Jack Glynn, alternate. That’s why many students ask about the language of origin as well a definition and an example of the word used in a sentence, as allowed by the rules.

Love said he doesn’t do anything special to prepare for the bee. However, he shares a common trait to other successful spellers: He is a voracious reader.

“I like sci-fi. I’m reading Harry Potter right now,” he said.

By surrounding themselves with words, student spellers develop “muscle memory” that kicks in when they’re up at the microphone, Hansen said.


GLEN LAKE will be sending these students to the Leelanau County Spelling Bee next week at Lake Leelanau St. Mary. Pictured (from left) are the top spellers at the Laker bee: Elijah Laskey (4th grade), Haleigh Manville (6th grade), alternate Bella Romzek (6th grade), Faith Herman (4th grade), Gretel Foglesong (8th grade), Olivia Cooper (7th grade), and school champion Maia Cooper (7th grade). GLEN LAKE will be sending these students to the Leelanau County Spelling Bee next week at Lake Leelanau St. Mary. Pictured (from left) are the top spellers at the Laker bee: Elijah Laskey (4th grade), Haleigh Manville (6th grade), alternate Bella Romzek (6th grade), Faith Herman (4th grade), Gretel Foglesong (8th grade), Olivia Cooper (7th grade), and school champion Maia Cooper (7th grade). In addition to Love, the Pathfinder contingent includes school champion Zachary Childs, Harper Flees, Rowan Schultz, Mariah Moore and Rose Ryan.

Suttons Bay School, home of 2017 county spelling bee winner Gabe Suitor, will be represented by Alydia Floyd, the school’s top speller, as well as Lleyton Krumlauf, Maggie Napont, Tommie Engle, Minnie Bardenhagen and Jabin Aguilar.

Glen Lake will be represented by school champion Maia Cooper, a seventh grader; her twin, Olivia Cooper; Gretel Foglesong; Faith Herman; Haleigh Manville; and Elijah Laskey. Bella Romzek, a sixth grader, is an alternate.


REPRESENTING LELAND Public School in the county spelling bee are (back row, from left) Levi Deters, Bjorn Botruff and Lydia Robertson; (front row, from left) are Faith Fowler, Sutton Leiter (school winner), Emma Early (alternate) and Danielle Frank. REPRESENTING LELAND Public School in the county spelling bee are (back row, from left) Levi Deters, Bjorn Botruff and Lydia Robertson; (front row, from left) are Faith Fowler, Sutton Leiter (school winner), Emma Early (alternate) and Danielle Frank. Leland’s school bee was won by Sutton Leiter. Others students representing

Leland are Bjourn Botruff, Levi Deters, Faith Fowler, Danielle Frank and Lydia Robertson. Emma Early is Leland’s alternate.

Lake Leelanau St. Mary, host of the bee, will be represented by their spelling champion Jenaya Thoreson as well as Jacqueline Herne, Kendra Couturier, Jenna Beman, Cecelia Gallagher, Meghan Bidoul. Jack Glynn will serve as an alternate.

St. Mary Principal Megan Glynn will emcee the event which will start at 7 p.m. in the school gymnasium.

Longtime Enterprise staff writer Eric Carlson will be the pronouncer.

Judges this year are Amy Hubbell, also of the Enterprise staff; Bradley Chapin, director of the Suttons Bay- Bingham District Library; and St. Mary teacher Nick Papes.

Anne Walter and Tina VanderWulp will serve as registrars and Geri Valentine, statistician.

Northport Public School and Leelanau Montessori Public School Academy did not participate this year due to a lack of interest.

The winner of the county spelling will advance to the regional competition Grand Traverse Regional Spelling Bee on at 11 a.m. March 18 at the State Theater in Traverse City.

The winner of that competition will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in May.

The Leelanau Enterprise sponsors the county-level bee, providing a certificate to each of the spellers, paying for refreshments and providing prizes for winners. The Traverse City Record-Eagle sponsors the regional bee as well as the trip to Washington, D.C. for the region’s top speller.

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