Champion speller Kori Mecklenburg, center, is pictured with Autumn Axline, second; Ryan Pabreza, third; Seth Andrews, fourth; and sixth-year coach Kim Stevenson.

Archived Story

Spelling champion repeats

Published 9:33pm Monday, February 27, 2012

Edwardsburg eighth-grader Kori Mecklenburg repeated as Cass County spelling champion against Dowagiac and Cassopolis Monday at Southwestern Michigan College.
Teammates trailing Kori, 13, in afternoon individual competition were: Autumn Axline, second; Ryan Pabreza, third; and Seth Andrews, fourth.
Dowagiac seventh-grader Mary Leversen finished fifth.
“I studied after school a couple of times a week,” said Kori, who participates in Science Olympiad, ATYP (Academically Talented Youth Program) and soccer.
“I got some pretty easy words, so I felt lucky about that. There were only a couple I wasn’t sure about,” said Kori ,who finished with “carnage,” “calculate,” “antimony” and “assimilate.” She came in third in sixth-grade.
“She wanted to make sure she took it again her last year,” added sixth-year coach Kim Stevenson. “She’s somewhat of a natural speller.”
Edwardsburg dominated at every grade level.
The Eddies’ fourth-graders, who compete separately, won with 48 to 30 for Dowagiac and 30 for Cassopolis.
Top individual fourth-grade spellers were Anthony Castelucci, first, and Maddie LaPierre, second, both of Edwardsburg. fourth-graders win word games.
In fifth-grade team competition, Edwardsburg tallied 45, to 38 for Cassopolis and 36 for Dowagiac.
Chieftain sixth-graders managed second with 40 behind Edwardsburg’s 46, with Cassopolis third at 37.
Edwardsburg seventh-graders spelled 47 words correctly, bettering Cassopolis’ 43 and Dowagiac’s 38.
In eighth-grade action, it was Edwardsburg 44, Cassopolis 39 and Dowagiac 36.
Lewis Cass Intermediate School District coordinated the event for 90 students.
In the afternoon, students who spelled perfectly or only missed one word in morning competition advance to individual spelling.
When students misspell a word during the individual contest, they are eliminated from the bee.
Kori and Autumn receive $50 savings bonds. Kori also gets a trophy and blue ribbon.
Cass County Historical Commission donates prizes, which include Scrabble games for runners-up.
Brian Wood, LCISD instructional services director, coordinates the event.
Retired Patrick Hamilton Elementary School principal Lin Mallory pronounced words, with former Dowagiac school board member Linda Lorenz and Johanna Timpson of Marcellus scoring and judging.

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