Carlisle crowns spelling bee champion


Carlisle Elementary School resumed its annual spelling bee Tuesday morning, and a fifth grader from the school will now compete in the semifinals of the state competition.

Nine students from the school participated in the contest, which required students to correctly spell one word per round, with words gradually getting more difficult as the rounds progressed. The competition was held in a music room at Carlisle and was attended by the parents of many of the participants.

After 10 rounds, fifth grader Elyse Fannin emerged as the winner of the competition. As a state semifinalists, she will take an online spelling assessment later this month and if she places in the top 50, she will head to the 2023 OHIO Regional Spelling Bee to be held at Ohio University in March.

First grade teacher Catherine Keller, who was one of the organizers of the Carlisle Spelling Bee, said it’s important to recognize student achievement in academic competition.

“It’s important for kids to see the importance of academics and for students to get recognition who normally may not,” she said.

Keller added she was glad to see students took the competition seriously.

“… We know they’ve prepared,” Keller said. “We give them words to study, and here at Carlisle, we have a lot of emphasis on reading, and this proves how important that is. It breaks our hearts when they miss their word, but it shows their passion and in the end, we’re super proud.”

Keller said she hoped students came away with more than just the experience.

“I hope they take away the importance of reading, language and spelling,” Keller said. “Reading is everything. Reading is science, reading is math and test-taking. (I want the students to) keep reading. We’re so proud of them.”

Due to the pandemic, Keller said this year’s spelling bee was the first one held at the school since 2020.

“We’re excited that there’s an academic competition,” she said. “It’s exciting to be back, and we plan on continuing.”

After the competition, Elyse said she used the spelling bee’s Word Club app to practice with her mother.

As for the next round, Elyse said she isn’t nervous about the online assessment, but if she qualifies for the regional spelling bee, that will be a different story.

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