LAURINBURG — Singing in the chorus helped one Spring Hill Middle School student achieve the winning title during the district-wide spelling bee this week.
John Hunt, an eighth-grader at Spring Hill, gets to move on to the regional spelling bee in Charlotte on Feb. 29 after he recalled the spelling of the winning word from his choir class.
“Sonata, S-O-N-A-T-A, sonata,” said Hunt to win first place in the district spelling bee.
“I heard it a lot when I was in chorus,” he said in reference to the word defined by Merriam Webster as a piece of music written for one or two instruments that has usually three or four large sections that are different from each other in rhythm and mood.
Hunt won the district spelling bee that put nine of the best elementary and middle school spellers against each other. Each student won during the initial spelling bee held in their school.
“I studied at home, how every normal kid would study,” Hunt said, admitting that he’s always being a good speller. He never won the school or district spelling bee before, but he’s excited to move on to Charlotte.
The runner-up was awarded to Micah Jones of North Laurinburg Elementary.
“I am excited that I knew all of those words and most of them I didn’t even study,” Jones said. “I had to study for a long time — one month.”
Jones is excited because as runner-up she will get to take the place of Hunt if he can’t make it to the regional spelling bee.
“You’re amongst friends, you’re amongst family and we’re all here to support you and just celebrate what an awesome job you’ve done to get to the district spelling bee,” said Meredith Bounds, Public Information Officer for Scotland County Schools. “If you think about it, it’s all of you middle school and elementary students and out of all those hundreds of kids, only you nine made it this far.”
Even the adults in the room could sympathize with the students every time one spelled a word wrong.
“We as adults know how tough it is when we work for something and then we don’t end up being successful at it,” said Superintendent Ron Hargrave. “If you have the opportunity to sit in one of these chairs, you are already a winner because you accomplished something to get to this point and now as a district we will get behind John as he moves on.”
Spelling bee contestants were: Memphis Culbreath — Laurel Hill; Ny’ Te’ Asia Moore — I. Ellis Johnson; Ashley Robinson — Covington Street; Micah Jones — North Laurinburg; Tariq Harris — South Scotland; Breyden Hasty — Wagram Elementary; Andrew Nor — Sycamore Lane Elementary; Jordan Harris — Carver Middle, and John Hunt — Spring Hill Elementary.
Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.