Youngsters put skills to test at spelling bee



The best young spellers in Jackson County came together earlier this week to compete for the title of spelling bee champions at the Jackson County Fair in Brownstown.

Sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Indiana Realty in Seymour, the event, in its 41st year, was a popular attraction at the grandstand Monday night with many family members and teachers showing up to cheer on the spellers.

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Students in Grades 3 through 5 from all public and parochial schools in the county were invited to participate. Each school conducted its own spelling bee this past school year to determine which students would be representatives at the fair.

Around 75 students competed in this year’s spelling bee. Judges were Paula Parker, Aimee Rigsby, John Lawson and Brandon Briner.

The fifth-grade spelling bee winner this year was Levi Pottschmidt from Lutheran Central School, who edged out second-place winner Kade Goben from Brownstown Elementary School by correctly spelling the word “especially.”

Third place went to Jordan Stephens of Emerson Elementary School in Seymour. Stephens said his toughest word was “boulevard.”

“I’ve always spelled it abbreviated,” he told Realtor Rob Millman, who interviewed each of the winners after the event.

First-place winner in the fourth-grade division was Kelan Yates of Emerson Elementary. This was Yates’ second big win at the fair spelling bee, as he came in first last year as a third-grader.

Yates said he thought he was going to get knocked out of the race on his first word, “sandwich.”

Second-place winner was Kevin Scott from Margaret R. Brown Elementary. Scott said he hoped to be able to come back to the spelling bee next year as a fifth-grader. Taking third place was Dayton Smith of Seymour-Redding Elementary.

Coming in first place in the third-grade division was Asher Ratliff of Seymour-Jackson Elementary.

Ratliff said the most difficult word he had to spell was “sympathize.”

He said he inherited his spelling skills from his mother, and he hopes to come back and spell again next year.

Second place in third grade was Amber Ault, also of Seymour-Jackson Elementary, and Colton Moore of Seymour-Jackson took third place.

Chuck Gordon with Berkshire Hathaway said the business has been a longtime sponsor of the spelling bee.

“We like to be involved in the community and support the Jackson County Fair,” he said.

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Winners in the 41st annual Jackson County Fair Spelling Bee

Third grade: First place, Asher Ratliff of Seymour-Jackson Elementary School; second place, Amber Ault of Seymour-Jackson Elementary School; third place, Colton Moore of Seymour-Jackson Elementary School.

Fourth grade: First place, Kelan Yates of Emerson Elementary School; second place, Kevin Scott of Margaret R. Brown Elementary School; third place, Dayton Smith of Seymour-Redding Elementary School.

Fifth grade: First place, Levi Pottschmidt of Lutheran Central School in Brownstown; second place, Kade Goben of Brownstown Elementary School; third place, Jordan Stephens of Emerson Elementary School.


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