The Genoa Lions hosted the Genoa-Kingston district spelling bee Jan. 15 at the Masonic Temple in Genoa, where 12 finalists gathered for dinner and the competition.
Three students in fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades were successful in their class spelling bees and were ready to spell their way to the regionals in February at Kishwaukee College.
The winner of this year’s Genoa-Kingston Spelling Bee was Ava Brooks, a seventh-grader at Genoa-Kingston Middle School and the daughter of Craig and Angie Brooks. The second-place winner was Jack McCombs, the son of Rocko and Jayme McCombs. He is an eighth-grader at Genoa-Kingston Middle School.
Six of the 12 spellers were eliminated by the fifth round, and the winner was crowned in round 17. The alternate/third-place speller was Brycen Wiegartz.
Dinner was hosted by Lions President Dale Pelley and the Genoa Lions Club, which provided the trophies for the first- and second-place winners. Genoa’s McDonald’s donated a $10 Arch Card for each contestant.
G-K Middle School Assistant Principal Paki Uili acted as pronouncer. Emily Fowler organized the spelling bee and was assisted in judging by G-K Middle School Principal Craig Butcher and teacher Katie Schumacher. Brent O’Daniell, school district superintendent, and John Francis, principal of Genoa Elementary, were there to encourage the students.
Here is a list of the student participants:
• Fifth grade: Samanth Abracia-Wendel, Daniel Hipolito and Brycen Wiegartz (replaced Michael Schmidt, who did not attend)
• Sixth grade: Adrian Delgado, Maddie Swanson and Brandi Radloff
• Seventh grade: Addy Vicary, Ava Brooks and Moira Mullins
• Eighth grade: Jack McCombs, Cain Rich and Olivia Moore (replaced Kiefer Tripp, who did not attend)
Special thanks go to the Masonic Temple and the folks who prepared the meal, to Gene Bradford and McDonald's for the Arch Cards, and Rene VanDerHeyden for making the arrangements with the school district and securing the trophies from Hirschbein Trophies in Sycamore.