Courtney Gullion is the overall winner of the County Spelling Bee

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Courtney Gullion, a fifth grader at Jefferson-Craig Elementary School, and a student in Konna Padgett’s class, earned the county championship of the Spelling Bee that was held on Saturday.

The local Spelling Bee involved students from Switzerland County Elementary School, Jefferson-Craig Elementary School, and Switzerland County Middle School; and is a part of the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee program.

The Community Foundation of Switzerland County sponsored the Community Spelling Bee this year by using its 10th anniversary “$1,000 A Month Grant” for December to help pay for expenses associated with the Spelling Bee. The Jefferson-Craig PTO and Switzerland County Elementary PTO also sponsored the event.

Students in third through eighth grades took part in the program.

In November, each school conducted its own Spelling Bee. A written grade-level Spelling Bee took place to determine the top 10 spellers in each grade at all three of the schools.

Once these students were determined, another written Spelling Bee was conducted to narrow the field to the top 10 students at each of the participating schools.

These 30 students were then eligible to participate in Saturday’s Community Spelling Bee, which consisted of two portions.

In the morning, the 30 finalists will be administered a written Spelling Bee. The 15 highest scoring students will then be eligible to participate in the oral Spelling Bee, which was held in the afternoon.

The overall winner was Courtney Gullion; who won the competition by correctly spelling the word “frolic”.

Second place in the competition was earned by middle school eighth grader Devin Coy; and eighth grader Logan Todd rounded out the final three contestants.

Kayla Jordan, a fifth grader in Sharon Barbour’s class, was the winner among Switzerland County Elementary School students.

Courtney Gullion, Devin Coy, and Kayla Jordan – by virtue of being the winner in each participating school, will now advance to the Regional Spelling Bee, which will be held on February 14th in Cincinnati.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion, administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company. The Louisville Courier-Journal started the event with nine contestants in 1925. In 1941, Scripps assumed sponsorship of the program.

There was no Scripps National Spelling Bee during the World War II years of 1943, 1944, and 1945. Co-champions were declared in 1950, 1957, and 1962. Of the 84 champions, 43 have been girls and 41 have been boys.