Riverview Middle School 6th-grader is newest county spelling bee champ

Ella Hall, a sixth-grade student from Riverview Middle School (center) displays the plaque she received after winning the 2018 Huntington County Spelling Bee, Monday, Feb. 5, at Huntington University. Celebrating with her are (at left) the pronouncer of the contest, Dr. Luke Fetters and Jim Lewis, representing the Huntington Metro Kiwanis Club, which sponsors the event. Hall is the daughter of Rick and Tabby Hall, of Huntington.
Ella Hall, a sixth-grade student from Riverview Middle School (center) displays the plaque she received after winning the 2018 Huntington County Spelling Bee, Monday, Feb. 5, at Huntington University. Celebrating with her are (at left) the pronouncer of the contest, Dr. Luke Fetters and Jim Lewis, representing the Huntington Metro Kiwanis Club, which sponsors the event. Hall is the daughter of Rick and Tabby Hall, of Huntington.

Ella Hall, a sixth-grade student from Riverview Middle School, has won the 2018 Huntington County Spelling Bee, taking the title with the winning word, “enorganic.”

It took 31 rounds of tough competition before Hall won out in the bee held Monday, Feb. 5, at Huntington University, hosted by the Huntington Metro Kiwanis Club. It came down to the two spelling champs from the middle schools, as Hall and Dane Blackburn from Crestview Middle School went round after round, spelling out words that some in the audience didn’t even know existed.

As the bee continued, Dr. Luke Fetters, who served as the pronouncer, often skipped pages of the word list to advance to the more difficult words.

In the 30th round, Blackburn misspelled the word, “repast,” leaving two more words for Hall to spell correctly before she could win the contest.

At times Hall used her sleeve as a blackboard to invisibly spell out some of the harder words, breathing a sign of relief when she got them right. But the 12-year-old, who attended the county spelling bee last year as the champion from Andrews Elementary School, overcame her nerves to come out on top.

“It’s really awesome,” she said afterward, holding the plaque she received. “I studied a couple of months. I was really happy that they (the words) were from the list I studied.”

Hall is the daughter of Rick and Tabby Hall, of Huntington. She will now advance to the Fort Wayne Regional competition, to be held Saturday, March 3, at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. She will be spelling against winners from 15 counties. The regional winner will then advance to the 91st annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, set for May in Washington, DC.

The eight Huntington County spellers who also competed in the bee were Dylan Bessette, from Andrews Elementary School; Mya Wolf, from Lincoln Elementary: Izabella Nieman, from Flint Springs Elementary; James Belovich, from Northwest Elementary; Benjamin Claghorn, from Roanoke Elementary; Evan Garrison, from Lancaster Elementary; Javin Gray, from Salamonie Elementary; and Violet Thornton, of Huntington Catholic School.