With the correct spelling of the championship word, “jacquerie,” fourth grader Claire Nesheiwat won the 2018 Dunham All-School Spelling Bee. Eighth grader Tanvi Dhaka was runner-up. As spelling bee champion, Claire will represent The Dunham School in the Regional Spelling Bee to be held in February 2019.
“Claire is a very diligent student and studied very hard for this special event. We are so proud of her!” said Lower School principal Deedra LaPlace.
Fifteen students, representing the top three spellers from 4th-8th grade, competed in the All-School Bee. Spellers included: Claire Nesheiwat, Emaline Chen and Evan Isaminger, 4th grade; Aldren Thornton, Gavin Byrd, Bennett Lasseigne, 5th grade; Melina Jacobsmeyer, Reynolds Pontti, Christopher Waguespack, 6th grade; Mallory Golightly, Blake Beale, Katie Harris, 7th grade; and Tanvi Dhaka, Avery Fautheree and Pena Albert, 8th grade.
“Advancing to the All-School Bee takes both courage and preparation. Students know that only one of them can potentially make it to the end without an error so the pressure is intense,” said Melissa Stevens, 5th grade teacher who coordinated the spelling contest. “I believe more audience members, even the teachers, would agree that there were words called today that they would not have been able to spell. I commend every student who was brave enough to take on this challenge in front of their peers.”
Middle School principal Mary Theriot was pleased with the overall competition. “This year’s spelling bee was the best we have had. The entire audience gave our winner a standing ovation when she correctly spelled the final word,” she said. “The thorough preparation by our students created a very competitive atmosphere and speaks to the importance of academic competition.
The Dunham Spelling Bee is a part of the The Scripps National Spelling Bee,the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion. More than 11 million students participate in the bee each year. Its purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, and develop correct English usage that will help them throughout their lives.