<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Participants in this year’s Spring Grove Public School District Spelling Bee included in front row: Garrison VanMinsel (2nd), Mariah Edgington (1st), and Claire Bratland (3rd). Second row: Isaac Gengler, Olivia Mendez, Kennedy Bornholdt, Kayden Schulte, and Takoda Boyd. Third row: Zach Folstad, Amelia Solum, Carter Bratland, Sam Folstad, and Adin Solum. Fourth row: Claire Urell, Hannah Borreson, Hannah Dodson, Gabe Prahl, Wyatt Murphy, and Kai Bjerke.


Participants in this year’s Spring Grove Public School District Spelling Bee included in front row: Garrison VanMinsel (2nd), Mariah Edgington (1st), and Claire Bratland (3rd). Second row: Isaac Gengler, Olivia Mendez, Kennedy Bornholdt, Kayden Schulte, and Takoda Boyd. Third row: Zach Folstad, Amelia Solum, Carter Bratland, Sam Folstad, and Adin Solum. Fourth row: Claire Urell, Hannah Borreson, Hannah Dodson, Gabe Prahl, Wyatt Murphy, and Kai Bjerke.
"A spelling bee is a competition in which contestants are asked to spell a broad selection of words, usually with a varying degree of difficulty. The concept is thought to have originated in the United States, and spelling bee events, along with variants, are now also held in some other countries around the world. The first winner of an official spelling bee was Frank Neuhauser, who won the 1st National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in 1925 at age eleven," explains Wikipedia.

Spring Grove Public School held its District Spelling Bee on Friday. Students in fifth through eighth grade were eligible to participate. Teachers held a classroom spelling bee or gave a written spelling test to determine the top five spellers in each grade level. These top students then had the opportunity to advance to the school spelling bee.

Students participating in this year's bee were: Kai Bjerke, Kennedy Bornholdt, Hannah Borreson, Takoda Boyd, Carter Bratland, Claire Bratland, Hannah Dodson, Mariah Edgington, Sam Folstad, Zach Folstad, Isaac Gengler, Olivia Mendez, Wyatt Murphy, Gabe Prahl, Kayden Schulte, Adin Solum, Amelia Solum, Claire Urell, and Garrison VanMinsel.

After four rounds, three students remained. They battled it out for three more rounds before Mariah correctly spelled "guineas" to win that round. She then spelled "occipital" correctly in the championship round to win the district bee. To determine who would place second and third, the remaining two students had a spell-off with Garrison VanMinsel taking second place by spelling "roustabout" correctly and Claire Bratland third place.

Edgington will now go on to compete at the Regional Spelling Bee in Rochester on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 9:00 a.m. There is also a Regional Spelling Bee that day at 1:00 p.m. and the top six spellers from both Bees (a total of 12 spellers) will then advance to the Southeast Minnesota Final Spelling Bee on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The champion of the Southeast Minnesota Spelling Bee Final will win an all-expenses-paid trip (for themselves and one adult) to compete in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC held at the end of May 2014.

Scripps has sponsored the National Spelling Bee for eight decades. Since 1976, the Bee has included competitors from outside the United States. This year, spellers from seven non-U.S. countries will participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee: the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and Korea. Additional participants are from Department of Defense Schools in Europe and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.