Although spellers faced an additional hurdle this year – vocabulary as well as spelling questions – that didn’t stop Barksdale Elementary fifth grader Aeneas Moore, winner of the 2017 Rockdale County Spelling Bee, and Memorial Middle sixth grader Allanah Stanton, this year’s runner-up.
Spellers from each of Rockdale County Public Schools 11 elementary schools and four middle schools faced off Friday morning, February 10, 2017 at Edwards Middle School.
Moore said all he could think about while he was up on stage was whether he would win or lose. To prepare for the spelling bee, Moore said, “First, I had my mom test me on some of (the words), then I studied them, and then I got better.”
“It took a lot of practice,” added his mom, Ronda Moore. “We put a lot of hours into studying those words.” The shy, Barksdale fifth grader loves to build things and is an avid Pokémon fan. As a reward for winning the 2017 Rockdale County Spelling Bee, Ronda Moore said she would get her son a $50 box of Pokémon cards he had been eyeing for months.
The 2017 Rockdale County Spelling Bee contestants (the winners of their respective school’s spelling bee, with their randomly assigned order number) and their alternates (the runners-up at their school’s spelling bee) were:
Dasani Harper #1 (alternate Nisa Washington) – C.J. Hicks Elementary
Allanah Stanton #2 (alternate Johnathan Albaugh) – Memorial Middle
Aeneas Moore #3 (alternate Nathaniel Reynolds) – Barksdale Elementary
Dylan Allen #4 – Flat Shoals Elementary
Zindzhi Evans #5 (alternate Ja’Kiya Thomas) – Honey Creek Elementary
Allison Jones #6 (alternate Josh Comeau) – Lorraine Elementary
Jayden Bailey #7 (alternate Ayden Vaughn) – Shoal Creek Elementary
Jorri Murray #9 (alternate Jorunee Lackey) – Sims Elementary
Rose Adams #10 (alternate Amairany Underwood) – J.H. House Elementary
Kristy Cooper #11 (alternate Cyras McMillian) – Conyers Middle
Kameron Bolton #12 (alternate Kamylle Norman) – Pine Street Elementary
Matthew Thacker #13 (alternate Gabriel Edmonson) – Edwards Middle
Kendyl Nimmons #14 (alternate Jahmali Hudson) – Hightower Trail Elementary
Anthony Troms #15 (alternate Paige Missick) – Peek’s Chapel Elementary.
This year’s pronouncer was 2016-17 RCPS Teacher of the Year, Kimberly Sanderson of Davis Middle School. Judges were RCPS ELA Academic Coach Sherry Boudreaux, RCPS ELA Coordinator Dr. Erika Tucker, RCPS Education Assessment Coordinator Ranyatta Roland.
The Rockdale County Spelling Bee was organized by the Rockdale Chapter of the Georgia Association of Educators, Audrey Champion, April Swain, and Mileeka Frank. Sponsors of this year’s bee include Olde Town Awards & Engraving, Publix, Target, BJ’s, Greg Fort the Cupcake Guy.
Vocabulary rounds were implemented this year at the suggestion of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), the organization that runs the State Spelling Bee, to better prepare state spellers for the national competition. The national Scripps Spelling Bee began testing participants on vocabulary questions several years ago. Moore will go on to the GAE District 5 Spelling Bee on Feb. 25 at Edwards Middle School. The State Spelling Bee will be held March 17 at Georgia State University. For more information on the GAE State Spelling Bee, go to http://gae.org/programs/gaestate-spelling-bee/,