Top Middle School Spellers will Represent Westerville in Spelling Bee

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January served as Spelling Bee Month as Scripps Spelling Bees were held at each of the four middle schools in Westerville. From in-class spelling tests to school-wide bees, one student from each building emerged as the ‘top speller’ and may be invited represent their school and the district at the regional level. Winners are:
  • Diamond Hasberry, Blendon Middle School, grade eight. (Kelly Blum, Language Arts teacher; Stephanie Sahr, Building Coordinator.)
  • Michael Qi, Genoa Middle School, grade eight. (Leah Schulte, Language Arts teacher and Building Coordinator.)
  • Jenna Johnson, Heritage Middle School, grade eight. (Candace Shicks, Language Arts teacher and Building Coordinator.) Johnson is unable to attend the regional contest, so Heritage will be represented by Zachary Ryan, a sixth grade student in Danielle Reedy’s Language Arts class.
  • Jocelyn Mitchell, Walnut Springs Middle School, grade eight. (Tammy Saltzmann, Language Arts teacher; Ranee Brown, Building Coordinator.)
Each of the four student representatives earned, from Encyclopedia Britannica, a free, one-year subscription to Britannica Online for Kids (a $69.95 value) and, from Middlebury Interactive, a free PowerspeaK12 foreign language course, valued at $119.

On January 23, the four spellers will take Scripp’s 50-word online written test to earn an invitation to the Regional Bee at Ohio University on March 16. Top students at that event will head to the National Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., from May 26–June 1.

Facilitated by the Westerville City Schools Gifted Education Department, the purpose of spelling bees is to help students improve spelling, increase vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

Scripps ( is the nation's largest and longest-running spelling bee administered on a not-for-profit basis by the E.W. Scripps Company. Scripps Spelling Bees are held in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe, as well as the Bahamas, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.