Rockland student wins county spelling bee
Rockland — Sixth-grader Chloe Courant of Rockland District Middle claimed the title of county spelling bee champion Feb. 12.
Seven students from five area schools competed through seven rounds before Courant was named champion on the words "porosity" and "perceived."
There was a tie for runner-up between Camden-Rockport Middle School eighth-grade student Leo Kalajian and Appleton Village School's August Gray. Kalajian won the challenge by correctly spelling "complacency" while Gray stumbled on "elegiac."
Following an explanation of the rules by Rockland District Middle School teacher Suzanne McMackin, students participated in a practice round featuring words like "rug," "eel," "tape" and "shy."
Round one saw correct spellings of words like "famished" by Sophie Dorsky of Appleton Village School, "lucrative" by Molly Davis of Riley School in Rockport, "diadem" by Kalajian and "travesty" by Courant. Camden-Rockport Middle School eighth-grader Braden Fisher was knocked out of contention by "winnow."
The next round proved too much for Dorsky and Davis, who incorrectly spelled "corduroy" and "emblazoned," respectively. Continuing on to round three were Laticia Billings, an eighth-grade student from Hope Elementary School who correctly spelled "photogenic" as well as Kalajian with "imperious," Gray with "mammalian" and Courant tackling "adroitly."
Each correctly spelled "tangible,"derivative," "acrylics" and "leonine" to move on to round four. Billings returned to her seat after a miscue on "rejuvenate" during round four and rounds five and six remained a three-way tie featuring words including "congressional," "dodecahedron" and "gustatory."
In round seven, both Kalajian and Gray stumbled, making errors when spelling "appellate" and "ombudsman," respectively, leaving the door wide open for Courant.
Courant qualified for the state spelling bee, set to take place Saturday, March 22 in Portland. If Courant is unable to attend, Kalajian will take her place representing Knox County.
The bee was moderated by Ellen Spring and judged by Adam Roberge, Susan McNeilly and Melanie Slocum.