Sixth-grader wins spelling bee

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 14, 2003

Tiffany Brown, a sixth-grader at Central Christian Academy, became the top speller in county yesterday during Dallas County School System’s annual Spelling Bee.

Soon she will be making a trip to Birmingham for another spelling competition hosted by The Birmingham News. For Brown, the word &uot;species&uot; helped her become the spelling champ.

Second- and third-place winners were Mary Peeples, from B.K. Craig Elementary School, and Clare Wilson,

who attends Martin Middle School.

These three girls managed to

beat out 30 other students from both public and private schools across the county.

Bill Sellier, public relations for the county school system, said more students were involved in this year’s competition than in the past partly because increased prize money.

For the first time, the Kiwanis Club sponsored the spelling bee and awarded $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third place in savings bonds.

Jeff Cothran, Kiwanis member and director of the local United Way, said he decided sponsoring the competition would be a good way to promote education.

The spelling bee, held at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library, was not without some minor controversy.

The concern was whether or not students should acknowlegde that certain words need to be capatlized before spelling them. Students who were disqualified for not stating that a word should be capitalized, but who spelled it correctly, were eventually allowed to return to competition.

Judges for the spelling bee were Kiwanis Club President Bill Porter, Jane Mitter and Dusty Brown.

At the end of the competition, library director Becky Nichols told the students that reading is an important part of getting a good education.