Landon Jordan, eighth-grader at Ashe County Middle School and Anna Koontz, sixth-grader at Westwood Elementary School, pose with their trophies after the competition. Jordan won first place at the county spelling bee while Koontz was runner-up.

WEST JEFFERSON — Landon Jordan, an eighth-grader at Ashe County Middle School, will be heading to Winston-Salem to compete in the Regional Spelling Bee for the second year in a row after winning the Ashe County Spelling Bee on Jan. 23.

Jordan came out victorious after runner-up, Anna Koontz, misspelled the word “manifesto.” He was then given the word and after spelling it correctly was given the championship word, “jubilant.”

Jordan and Koontz battled it out for one round, spelling the words “galaxy” and “ingredient” before “manifesto” was presented to Koontz.

Eleven spellers, ranging from fourth to eighth grade, competed in the spelling competition.

Participants from Westwood Elementary were Bryar Roten, Matt Herman and Anna Koontz. The representatives of Blue Ridge Elementary were David Bauguess, Sam Hess and Skylar Jones. Tommy Sparks, Mason Jenkins and Mia Hodges served as representatives from Mountain View Elementary. The two students competing from Ashe County Middle School were Marlena Rutherford and Landon Jordan.

While some words were handled with ease by the spellers, a few were notably challenging such as “dawdle,” “savvy” and “calzone.”

Several of the words were homonyms, which meant they sounded the same as other words to the spellers, but varied in spelling.

Pronouncer Josh Beckworth, provided definitions following the words that were homonyms which was helpful to the spellers.

An example of a tricky homonym was the word “boorish,” which was given to Rutherford in the ninth round.

Board of Education member Dr. Lee Beckworth, who presented each of the contestants with a medallion, and Koontz and Jordan with their trophies, described how proud the school system is of the participants.

“These kids did a great job, and they are going to represent themselves well during their time in school and they’re going to achieve great things,” Beckworth said.

Various faculty and school system employees helped prepare for the event and ensure that it ran smoothly.

Superintendent Phyllis Yates provided the competition’s opening and closing remarks. Roy Putman, director of Human Resources, read the rules to be followed. Julie Taylor, K-12 curriculum director, introduced the participants prior to the ceremony and read their names for the presentations of the medallions following the ceremony.

Don Church, former principal; Sandra Peterson, former teacher/director; and Putman served as judges for the event.

One teacher from each school served on the registration table. Gina Calhoun from ACMS, Emily Roten from BRES, Susan Greer from MVES and Kristina Norris from WWES.

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