Archived Story

5 spellers advance to state Spelling Bee [UPDATED]

Published 10:53am Thursday, February 21, 2013 Updated 10:53am Thursday, February 21, 2013

Twenty-one spellers competed Tuesday for five coveted spots in their quest to advance to the Multi-Region State Spelling Bee and a chance to win a trip to the Scripps National Bee in Washington, D.C.

Jesemy Travers, a seventh-grader from Moorhead, successfully spelled junta (pronounced hunta), to win the Region 4 Spelling Bee at Lakes Country Service Cooperative in Fergus Falls. Junta refers to a closely-knit group dominating a government after a seizure of power.

In earlier rounds Jesemy worked her way through such words as babushka, fastidious, allegro, and precipice.

Jayme Aune, a seventh-grader from Parkers Prairie, was first runner-up after spelling adagio, meaning slowly, especially in music, and gourami, a brightly-colored Asian fish.

Jenn-Kaminski-Horak, a Fergus Falls eighth-grader, Ethan Smith, a Moorhead eighth-grader, and Allison Prestby, an Alexandria seventh-grader also qualified as finalists and will compete in the State Bee.

Jenn used the program, Spell It, to prepare for the bee and said it was helpful.

“I actually made a schedule to study spelling, and I feel it definitely helps make me a better writer.”

Jesemy, the Region champion, studied with her family and even had an app on her iPad to help prepare for the Bee.

“Studying spelling was very helpful,” she said. “It made me a better writer and broadened my vocabulary.”

Additional competitors were Cassidy Smith, Alexandria; Sydney Jensen, Ashby; Elisa Carlson, Battle Lake; Katlynn Joyce, Browns Valley; Ben Blanchard and Mia Martinez, Detroit Lakes; Clayton Lindberg, Fergus Falls; Grace Worner, Hancock; Abby Homola, Henning; Levin Strand, Herman Norcross; Joe Torkelson, Hillcrest; Janai Seley, Lake Park Audubon; Acacia Wyckoff, Morris; Aubrey Koep, Osakis; Kezian Quanbeck, Park Christian; Audrey Swanson, Perham; and Derrick Pfingsten, Rothsay.

All competitors received trophies as District Champion Spellers.

“All the spellers demonstrated remarkable poise and talent in front of officials and a large audience as they faced the challenge of correctly spelling some very difficult words. They are an impressive group,” commented Susan Ward.

Officials for the Region Bee were Paul Carney, English Instructor, MSCTC; Jon Harris, Administrator, Fergus Falls Public Schools; Norm Kolstad, Board of Directors, LCSC; and Collette Cox, educator, Fergus Falls Public Schools. Laureen Svobodny, English Teacher at Lake Park Audubon School, was pronouncer for the Bee.

The Multi-Region State Bee will be held at Lakes Country Service Cooperative Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 12:30 p.m.

The public is invited. Contact Susan Ward at or Jolene King at for more information.



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