Thursday, February 3, 2005

Farley wins spelling bee

Staff Writer

Marshall Academy sixth grade student Preston Farley spelled his way to the winner’s seat at the Marshall County Spelling Bee.

The sixth grader took first place by spelling correctly the word scabbard that was misspelled by the runner-up and then by spelling correctly the word espionage.

Saturday’s competition, the 25th annual Marshall County Spelling Bee put on by ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., included 12 students from five schools - Holy Family, Holly Springs Intermediate, Holly Springs High School, Marshall Academy and Potts Camp.

Taking second place was Halie-lee Yoakum of Holly Springs Elementary School. Both first and second place winners said they didn’t have much time to study their word list. And some of the words were challenging toward the end of the bee.

Three boys, Justin Freeman of Holly Springs Intermediate and Levi Smith and Riley Clayton of Potts Camp shared third place.

The other competitors were Alexandra Johnson and Rhyan Bridgeforth of Holy Family, Brittany Govan of Holly Springs High School, Brittany Stewart, Kristi Janes and Mitchell Cartwright of Marshall Academy and Tess Hill and Loni Brown of Potts Camp.

The overall spirit award went to Potts Camp.

Sorority sister Marvia Kilgore was recognized this year for her role as cofounder with Delma Lawrence of the 25-year-old spelling contest.

She received several gifts and was presented the key to the City of Holly Springs by Mayor Andre’ DeBerry.

“You have challenged children to dig deeply and we are in your debt,” DeBerry said. And speaking to the students he added, “Your schools are proud, your parents are proud and we are proud of you and Marshall County.”

Sorority president Fannie Lampley spoke words of appreciation for the founders of the bee who put together the first regional spelling bee in 1980.

She said Lawrence had the vision to get a group of people to come together for the bee, “to learn to define words and have a thirst for knowledge.”

Lawrence, a retired school teacher in the Holly Springs school system and a newly inducted member of the sorority, envisioned a bee with students throughout Marshall County participating. The original bee was held on the campus of the ‘old Mississippi Industrial College’ campus. For several years the bee was rotated to different schools and later Lawrence and Kilgore decided to move the bee to a central location, Rust College.

Over the last 25 years the bee has been held every fourth Saturday in January each year with one exception due to a storm.

Lawrence taught at W.J. Sims School and is remembered for her role as a disciplinarian and leader.

Kilgore was recognized for her community building efforts as a member of United Methodist Women, a Sunday school teacher, a past president of Delta Sigma Theta, a mother and wife.

“She is a woman committed to family, church, organizations and Delta Sigma Theta,” Lampley said.

Kilgore, moved to tears, said only, “I’m just overwhelmed.”

Special appreciation and recognition was offered to the spelling bee committee: Kilgore, Lampley, Tavedia Tipler, Angie Reed-Hudson, Truly Payne, Wanda Pegues, Hortensia Dean and Sherna Stone.

Appreciation was also extended to pronouncers Margaret Delashmit, Gloria Washington and Diane Schule and to the judges Marian Talley, Madge Lindsay and Elijah Wilson.

Students misspelled words in the following order during elimination rounds: Round 1 — vital, fringe; Round 3 — naturalism, aromatic; Round 4 — legislative, octave; Round 5 — distillation, cylindrical; Round 6 and 7 — conjugate, literati, vanadium, cuisine, ascension, dissymmetry, Machiavellian, septendecillion, aphasia, hermetically, stratocracy, myriads, genuflect.

As first place winner Farley received a $100 and a $50 savings bond, $100 in cash, gifts from Staples and meal coupons from Popeye’s, Sonic, and Subway.

Marshall County’s champion earns the right to represent the county at the Mid-South Spelling Bee on the University of Memphis Campus. “The Holly Springs community has been very supportive through gifts and donations,” Lampley said. “This has been an event over the years where students from all of our schools have been participants. The members of the Holly Springs Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority could not have continued this effort without the support of teachers, principals and sponsors from the various schools.”

“On our 25th anniversary we say thanks to all of our supporters and we look forward to an even stronger bee in the years to come,” states bee coordinator Irene Walton and Lampley, president of the sorority.

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