One of the definitions of the word snooker is “to hoodwink,” but, for one speller, the word snooker might as well have meant championship when it was correctly spelled in the 2020 Rowan County School District Spelling Bee that was held on Feb. 4 at Rowan County Middle School.
This year’s champion speller is Felicity McCarty, daughter of Tosha Brown, and a fourth grade student at McBrayer Elementary School. This year’s runner-up was Keith Lewis, son of Elizabeth and Joseph Lewis, and an 8th grader at Rowan County Middle School.
As the winner of the District spelling bee, Felicity McCarty has met the qualifications to represent Rowan County Schools in the state Ford Motor Company Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee to be held on Saturday, March 14, at the Kentucky Center for the Arts’ Bomhard Theater in Louisville.
If, for some reason, Felicity is unable to participate in the Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee, Keith Lewis, as the runner-up, will become eligible to participate in the state competition.
The district’s four elementary schools held classroom and school-level spelling bees while Rowan County Middle School held grade-level spelling bees to determine a winner and runner-up for each school and qualify for the District Spelling Bee. The students that qualified for this year’s competition were:
Troy Wall and Helena Suarez, Clearfield Elementary
Felicity McCarty and Braxton Trent, McBrayer Elementary
Abby Vires and Gracie Vanover, Rodburn Elementary
Mya Hall and Alexis Adkins, Tilden Hogge Elementary School
Caden Collins and Olivia Stone, RCMS 6th grade
Audrey Bryant and Ava Blackledge, RCMS 7th grade
Keith Lewis and Noah Stevens, RCMS 8th grade
This year’s Rowan County School District Spelling Bee was held at Rowan County Middle School and was hosted by Genny Jenkins, director of Rowan County Schools’ Gifted and Talented Education Program. Judges for the event were RCMS librarian Tina Northcutt and RCSHS English teacher Lindsay Johnson. Stacie May, RCMS English teacher, served as the word pronouncer for the event.
When notified of the spelling bee results, Supt. John Maxey offered his congratulations to Felicity McCarty and Keith Lewis, and then added, “Felicity McCarty and Keith Lewis should be so proud of their accomplishments. I also want to congratulate all the students who took part in this year’s spelling bee. Having to spell words in front of a crowd can be very challenging. I think I can speak on behalf of their parents and their teachers by saying we are very proud of each speller.”