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Jackson wins Pratt spelling bee

Gale Rose
Liberty Middle School eighth grader Bailey Jackson concentrates as she spells the winning word to win the Pratt County Spelling Bee on Tuesday morning at LMS. Jackson out spelled 49 other contestants to win the bee and become eligible to compete in the Sunflower State Spelling Bee at Newman College in Wichita on March 21.

It's not always necessary to be experienced at something to be good at it. Bailey Jackson, Liberty Middle School eighth grade had never been in the school spelling bee before this year. In the District 382 bee, she managed to place in the top 10 and earn one of five places in her grade to compete in the Pratt County Spelling Bee on Feb. 4 at Liberty Middle School.

Out of the 50 contestants in grades four through eight from Pratt and Skyline, it was Jackson who emerged victorious after taking on fellow LMS student Jayden Mies in a spell down. Both students had to spell several words in the final competition. When one would spell a word correctly, the other would spell correctly. If one would miss, the other would miss. But it was Jackson who eventually got two in a row correct to take the championship.

Jackson said she didn't know the championship word when she heard it but was surprised and happy when word pronouncer Sue Buhler said she was correct.

Jackson said she didn't study for either the District Bee or the County Bee. She decided to participate this year because she thought it would be fun.  

The spelling bee word list is the same for all schools across the state and some have not held their bees yet so the words, especially the winning word, cannot be announced yet, said Marcia Stahl, Pratt County Spelling Bee Coordinator.

Jackson has qualified to participate in the Sunflower Spelling Bee on March 21 at Newman University in Wichita. The state spelling bee is sponsored by the Kansas Press Association. The state winner will qualify to compete in Scripps National Spelling Bee on May 24 in Washington D.C.

Jackson received a Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary from Bolen's Office Supply and a $100 prize from The Peoples Bank for expenses for the state bee.

Contestants in the county spelling bee:

Southwest Elementary and Liberty Middle School. Fourth grade-Isaac Dye, Beau Ferrell, Avery McMullen, Mya Orrantia, Connor Rose; Fifth grade-Lexee Davidson, Farmer Cook, Del Green, Sophia Toalston, Levi Thibault; Sixth grade-Madden Wilson, Luke Gatlin, Tiger Thompson, Arley Morrell, Ethan Cates; Seventh grade-Quinn Thibault, Sadie Green, Payton Warren, Rayden Crow, Mathew Garnett; Eighth grade-Bailey Jackson, Jaelynn Bridges, Noah Riley, Jayden Mies, Dylan Vail.

Skyline Elementary and Middle School. Fourth grade-Elizabeth Ohler, Madelyn Hanson, Elizabeth Dameron, Luke House, Mason Kenworthy; Fifth grade-Aaron Lucas, Laney Petz, Chase Stratford, Jiya Bhakta, Jacob Tawzer; Sixth grade-Peyton Harts, Trystan Harrold, Taylor Binford, Jett Brake-Forshee, Owen Flora; Seventh grade-Jude Nelson, Kory Anschutz, Katherine Jack, Brylie Ackerman, Nolan Kenworthy; Eighth grade-Griffin Wallace, Justus Novotny, Kaitlynn Hanson, Isaac Temanson, Cody Scherer.