Woods, Czech, Smithson win 2021 Navajo County Spelling Bee | Latest news

This year is different. Everything has changed; We have to do it online or virtually.

The virtual event format has been successfully applied to the Navajo County Spelling Bee 2021 and it appears that students were ready to attend with the same level of commitment as in previous years.

The virtual event, hosted by Navajo County’s Schools Superintendent Jalyn Gerlich, took place on February 17th.

This year, 34 spell checkers from schools in Navajo County participated. They used a virtual platform called Scripps, which is the same platform used by the state spelling bee this spring.

“This year we added a vocabulary component and the spell checkers had to type in their answers,” said Gerlich. “The online platform allowed the county to keep this bee safely and it was comforting to know that this is the same platform that is used for the state bee.”

Jackson Woods, an eighth grade student from the Blue Ridge Unified School District, was named champion.

Mannix Czech, an eighth grade student at the George Washington Academy in Snowflake, came in second.

“I’m so proud of Mannix’s achievement that he’s a role model student here at the George Washington Academy,” said Director Beth Kulish. “This is a huge win for GWA and we are grateful for the opportunity to participate in amazing school programs like the Navajo County Spelling Bee as it helps our students pursue excellence.”

Third place went to Grace Smithson, another eighth grade student from Blue Ridge.

The top three spell checkers received trophies and cash prizes of $ 100 for first place, $ 50 for second place, and $ 25 for third place at their respective schools.

Blue Ridge student Jackson Woods is now stepping forward to represent Navajo County in the state spelling bee that will take place in March.

“We are so proud of Jason and Grace. Each is an excellent student and an excellent person,” said BRUSD Superintendent Dr. Michael L. Wright. “These children are good examples of their school and our community.”

Continuing academic and sporting events is an essential part of maintaining normalcy during the pandemic, and the school administrators, principals and teachers are the ones who make this possible.

“We have to involve our students in all areas that offer competition,” said Gerlich. “Realizing that students are doing above average in a variety of areas, we need to continue spell checking with their focus on vocabulary and language.”

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