Parrish, Walker head on to county-wide competition after winning Jefferson Somerset spelling bee

Ashley Hunter
ECB Publishing, Inc.

What do the words candles, bobcat, polo and Monday all have in common?
They were spelling words presented to 15 Jefferson Somerset students on Thursday, Jan. 9 in the school's spelling bee.
Many American adults have memories of spelling bees when they were children and students.
The activity of a spelling bee is almost as American as apple pie; famed American artist Norman Rockwell has even depicted a gleeful child winning a spelling bee in one of his Americana-themed paintings. The scholarly tradition of the spelling bee has roots in 1700-1800s America and became commonplace after the publication of Webster spelling books and dictionaries.
Now, spelling bees are common throughout the world, with students in Canada, Nigeria, Kuwait, the United Kingdom, and many other countries all taking part in the educational tradition that can trace its roots to the United States.
On Thursday, Jan. 9, students at Jefferson Somerset put their spelling to the test as spelling bee pronouncer, Doug Brown read aloud the words which each student must spell.
Brown, who is also Jefferson Somerset's guidance counselor, was assisted by the school's Activities Director Nancy Whitty, who was present to aid Brown with the quizzing and to encourage the children as they spelled their sometimes difficult words.
From 'trombone' to 'mix' and some complicated spelling words, such as 'certain' and 'appetite', each Tiger student was calm and poised as they spelled out their word, despite the occasional fumble and misspelling.
After several rounds of spelling, two students – Del'vontae Walker and Patrick Parrish – were the last two left in the school's bee.
After misspelling the word 'Vinyl', Walker won second place as Parrish (correctly spelling 'Dainty') won first place.
Both of the two students would go on to compete against the Aucilla Christian Academy spelling bee winners at the county-wide bee on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
While spelling bees are a fun and educational opportunity for school and county competition, the bees also provide students with the opportunity to expand their vocabulary and cement their reading retention.
Having a firm grasp on how words are correctly spelled assists students in facilitating good written communication, cements reading comprehension and
sets young students up for a future of strong, written skillsets as adults in the professional work force.