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Greenlee wins multi-region spelling bee in FF

Published 9:26am Wednesday, February 27, 2013 Updated 11:28am Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It took 26 rounds and a demonstration of impressive spelling skill before Emma Greenlee, an eighth-grader from Mesabi East-Aurora, captured the title of champion by correctly spelling “emblema.”

Greenlee was also the 2012 Multi-Region State Bee champion. Millie Piper, an eighth-grader from Fulda School, was named first runner-up.

The bee began with 21 spellers, including eighth grader Jenn Kaminski-Horak of Fergus Falls. It took eight rounds of challenging words to narrow the field to eight spellers. The event was held at Lakes Country Service Cooperative.

By round 16, only Greenlee and Piper remained. Between rounds 16 and 26, both girls impressed the audience with their spelling prowess.

For example, Emma correctly spelled “tokamak,” “mélange,” “mukhtar,” “thalassic,” “bruschetta,” and “balaclava,” while Piper spelled “trepak,” “temblor,” “slumgullion,” “iridectomy,” “epaxial,” and “promethean” before misspelling labyrinthine.

“It’s a really good feeling to be champion,” said Greenlee. “I’m excited to get to go to Washington, D.C. again. I’m excited to see if I recognize anyone from last year, and I am anxious to go to one restaurant again. And I really liked the memorials, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, and the zoo.”

“I think everyone in attendance was awed by the poise and ability these young people displayed today,” said Susan Ward, state coordinator. “All 21 of them deserve to be champions.”

Sponsors of the event included Lakes Country Service Cooperative, Fergus Falls; Northeast Service Cooperative, Mt. Iron; Northwest Service Cooperative, Thief River Falls; Resource Training and Solutions, St. Cloud; and Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative, Marshall.

Pronouncer for the Bee was Laureen Svobodny, and officials were Paul Carney, Jon Harris, Norm Kolstad, and Collette Cox. Assistant was Jolene King from Lakes Country Service Cooperative.

The National Bee is in Washington, D.C., at the end of May. To prepare, Emma intends to focus on the words from the lists provided, as well as spend some more time with the dictionary.

“Minnesota has not had a national champion since 2001. Emma is the one who could change that,” said Ward.

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