Morgan County’s 2014 Spelling Bee winner Kevin Nguyen  is surround by his parents, Ken and Kristina Nguyen and sister, Anna. Kevin is a fifth grader at Lacey’s Spring School. | Clif Knight
Morgan County’s 2014 Spelling Bee winner Kevin Nguyen is surround by his parents, Ken and Kristina Nguyen and sister, Anna. Kevin is a fifth grader at Lacey’s Spring School. | Clif Knight

Archived Story

Fifth grader claims county spelling bee

Published 1:31pm Friday, January 24, 2014

Kevin Nguyen, a fifth grader at Lacey’s Spring School, is Morgan County’s 2014 Spelling Bee winner.

He captured the title by correctly spelling “herbivore” and “apathy” after runner-up Isabelle Wilbanks, a seventh grader at Falkville High School, misspelled “Julep.”

The event was hosted by Hartselle High School Thursday afternoon and staged in the school’s new auditorium.

Kevin finished third in the last year’s competition and demonstrated a lot poise and confidence this year. He never hesitated while facing the microphone and sounded the letters of the words he was asked to spell with clarity.

“I’m happy to win,” he said. “I studied the words hard for about two months and made sure I understood each work before I spelled it. That’s what my parents and sponsor told me to do.”

“Kevin’s an excellent speller,” said Betty Rasco, his sponsor. “He never missed a one of the challenge words.

Kevin will go on to compete in the State Spelling Bee later this year.

The competition consisted of 25 school winners. The bee went through five rounds. Two spellers were eliminated in the first round, seven in the second roumd, eight in the third round, four in the fourth round and five in the fifth round. Two appeals were made and one was upheld.

Isabelle Wilbanks, a Falkville seventh grader, receives the Morgan County Spelling Bee runner-up trophy from Hartselle City Schools Superintendent Dr. Vic Wilson.
Isabelle Wilbanks, a Falkville seventh grader, receives the Morgan County Spelling Bee runner-up trophy from Hartselle City Schools Superintendent Dr. Vic Wilson.

Dr. Nancy Horton chaired the event and Dr. Jerome Ward was the pronouncer. Judges were Jennifer Belda, Frankie Burdette and Becky Wallace.

Participating school winners are listed as follows:

Zoey Crawford, Barkley Bridge; Antonio Jordan, Brookhaven Middle; Kelly Croghan, Cedar Ridge Middle; Abby Floyd, Chestnut Grove; Elijah Pique, Crestline; Landon Upton, Danville Middle; Juliana Hudry, Decatur Heritage; Sara Caitlin Dees, Eastwood Elementary; Levi Cagle, Eva; Isaac Osteen, F.E. Burleson; Gavin Lee, Falkville Elementary; Isabelle Wilbnaks, Falkville High; A’Starria McClain, Frances Nungester; Gehrig Bolio, Hartselle Intermediate;  Jacob Garrison, Hartselle Junior High; Jalen Orr, Julian Harris Elementary; Kevin Nguyen, Lacey’s Spring; Jamie Brown, Leon Sheffield, Spencer Lott, Oak Mark Middle; Garrett Britnell, Priceville Elementary; Maegen Morrison, Priceville Junior High; Ashley Tate, Sparkman Elementary; Jenna Marie Sica, St, Ann Catholic School; Lucy Royster, Union Hill; Faith Jessup, Walter Jackson; and  Cameron Stephens, West Morgan Middle.

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