Dowagiac’s best spellers advance to county competition

Leader photo/TED YOAKUM The winners of the fourth-grade Dowagiac spelling bee stand on stage at Dowagiac Middle School Thursday morning. From left: Jassera Horton, Justus Gage; Syndey Hatch, Kincheloe Elementary; Zeb Huling, Patrick Hamilton; Laura Schoeller, Sister Lakes; Blake Sheffer, Kincheloe; and Chloe Ralston, Patrick Hamilton.

Leader photo/TED YOAKUM
The winners of the fourth-grade Dowagiac spelling bee stand on stage at Dowagiac Middle School Thursday morning. From left: Jassera Horton, Justus Gage; Syndey Hatch, Kincheloe Elementary; Zeb Huling, Patrick Hamilton; Laura Schoeller, Sister Lakes; Blake Sheffer, Kincheloe; and Chloe Ralston, Patrick Hamilton.

The Dowagiac Middle School auditorium was filled with the familiar sounds of consonants and vowels Thursday morning, as the district’s best elementary spellers took the to stage for a chance to compete in next month’s county spelling bee.

Teams of five students from each of the district’s four elementary school buildings’ fourth and fifth grade classes assembled at the middle school that morning and afternoon during the annual Dowagiac spelling bee. Judged by each of the four principals, with former middle school principal Mike Frazier serving as pronouncer, the 40 students went 10 rounds of spelling to determine the top six spellers from each grade, who will all move on to compete at the Cass County Spelling Bee, hosted by the Lewis Cass ISD on Feb. 19.

Top placers in the fourth-grade bee were Jassera Horton, Justus Gage; Syndey Hatch, Kincheloe Elementary; Zeb Huling, Patrick Hamilton; Laura Schoeller, Sister Lakes; Blake Sheffer, Kincheloe; and Chloe Ralston, Patrick Hamilton.

Fifth-grade winners were Abraham Guernsey, Patrick Hamilton; Sara Torbet, Patrick Hamilton; Olivia Stanger, Patrick Hamilton; Landen Taggart, Patrick Hamilton; Jeffrey Moore, Justus Gage; and Ruby Vega, Sister Lakes.

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