Enjoying his fourth consecutive win as spelling bee champion at Huntingdon Middle School is eighth grader Keller Smith. Keller is the 14-year-old son of Scott and Shawna Smith of Huntingdon. About winning for the fourth year in a row, Keller says, “I feel very excited to have another opportunity to be in the regional spelling bee. Every year that I have been, it has felt like a new experience. New words, new people, new competition.”
Finishing in second place and serving as runner-up is seventh grader Ayden Furst, son of Karol and Jared Yates of Huntingdon and Stephen Furst, Paris.
Twenty spellers from 5th - 8th grades participated in the bee. Each student received a certificate and a gold dollar. In addition to the certificate and gold dollar, Keller also received a trophy and a $20 check. Ayden received a $15 check.
Following notification from The Jackson Sun that they would no longer sponsor an area regional spelling bee, Huntingdon Middle chose to enroll with the Tennessee Titans, who will sponsor a regional spelling bee to be held February 16, 2019, in Nashville. In order to qualify for the Titans’ competition, students must take an online test which will include vocabulary as well as spelling.
“This new online test will definitely present something very new and very different for me. However, I believe that if I do pass it, it would help me be much more prepared than I would have been just jumping into another competition,” said Keller. “I’m very grateful to have the chance to go to Nashville.”
Only 50 school champions will move on to the Nashville round. The champion of the 2019 Tennessee Titans Regional Spelling Bee will represent the area at the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D. C., in May.