Lower School Spelling Bee Goes 24 Rounds

Lower School Spelling Bee Goes 24 Rounds
News Lower School

What do hedgehog, dingoes, alibi, ogre and ostriches all have in common? They were words in this year’s Lower School Spelling Bee. Twenty-two third and fourth graders qualified to compete in the bee on Wednesday, April 19. After correctly spelling the championship word after round 24, Ledger Halpern ’32 was named champion, and Van Nguyen ’32 was runner-up. Both students battled back and forth for four rounds before the winner was decided. 

In addition to Halpern and Nguyen, 20 students displayed FWCD’s core value of courage by taking the FWCD Scott Theater stage in front of their peers and families to display their spelling acumen. Congratulations to third graders Milo Green, Zaid Farr, McGwire Humble, Miller Humble, Daniel Katat (not present), Brynn McCord, Ishana Samart, Kennedy Slataper and fourth graders Roman Braswell, Collin Haggerty, Ben Herman, Sophia Isarraraz, Griffin Galati, Tyler Ferguson, Cameron Reilly, William Shaw, Ainslee Simmons, Austin Smith, Margo Smith and Andrew Tiblets. 

The students took a preliminary written spelling test on March 1, and the 22 students were passed on to the live, in-person spelling bee. The study list students used was from the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

Fourth-Grade Teacher Kelly Jenkins organized the spelling bee. With “bee” experience from her previous schools, she had been asking Head of Lower School Trey Blair if she could host one at FWCD, and 2022 was the bee’s inaugural year. “Going into middle school, students have the opportunity to participate in spelling bees, and I think that offering this third- and fourth-grade option is a great way for students to try it out and see what they are capable of,” Jenkins said. 

For Jenkins, the spelling bee allows students to demonstrate their skills in spelling and vocabulary. “I think it also builds self-confidence when students see that they can stand in front of a crowd of their peers,” she said. “The ability to communicate and speak in public are also benefits children gain when participating. These students truly showed that they can thrive under pressure. 

“I hope that all students participating took away a sense of pride in themselves,” Jenkins added. “It takes a lot of determination and courage to stand up in front of others and speak publicly. No matter the outcome, they all demonstrated that they are strong and resilient.”

Assistant Head of Lower School Kelly Lanier Tierce ’93 served as the pronouncer, and Shannon Allen, Communications and Constituent Relations Manager; Chelsy Beninate, Director of Fine Arts; and Nicole Masole Rose, Director of Community Engagement and Inclusion, served as judges. 

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Lower School Spelling Bee Goes 24 Rounds

Fort Worth Country Day has an institutional commitment to the principles of diversity. In that spirit, the School does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability or national origin in admissions, the administration of its educational policies, financial aid, athletics, and other School-administered programs.