Students take part in a regional spelling bee


LIMA — Twenty-nine college students ages 9 to 14 from the surrounding area exhibited their phonics and spelling skills during the regional spelling bee presented by The Lima News and Superior Credit Union at the University of Northwestern Ohio Event Center.

The bee began with a practice round to give each participant the chance to spell an inconsequential word to ease tension. Then the bee started. The first word was “skydiving”. Students spelled their given words in different ways.

Students experienced in spelling might ask for a definition. Others would ask official pronouncer Joyce Johnston to use the word in a sentence. Alexa Heffner, a student at St. Charles Catholic School, used her finger to write the word on the back of her business card. Hailey Meyer, of Fort Loramie Junior High School, wrote her note on her palm. Yet others stood up and spelled their word confidently.

It took 55 minutes to get to round eight, which started with the word gnarly and three contestants remaining. Two candidates misspelled their given words. The only person left had to spell their word correctly to win.

Parkway Middle School’s Natalie Moeller correctly spelled “hustle” to win the regional bee.

When asked how she prepared for the regional spelling bee, Natalie said: “My teacher gave me a list after school to study for the county, so I used it to the county, then after that I used the same list but studied the more difficult words.

She shared, “I read a lot. Reading is one of my hobbies. I love reading.

Not just a reader or a speller, Natalie plays volleyball, runs track and participates in 4-H where she presented cooking and baking projects at the fair.

As champion, Natalie receives a one-year subscription to Britannica Online Premium from Encyclopedia Britannica, a one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Online, the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Scripps National. Spelling Bee 2022 in Washington. DC where LeVar Burton will host the semi-finals and finals on June 1-2.

The winners of the regional spelling bee are Ellery Mathis of Fairlawn Middle School and Cole Bruggeman of Wapakoneta Middle School, who tied for second; Champion Natalie Moeller of Parkway Middle School and Alexa Heffner of St. Charles Catholic School and Parker Bell of Shawnee Middle School tied for third.

Regional spelling champion Natalie Moeller spells her word in a first round.

Contact Dean Brown at 567-242-0409


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