Tonasket 8th Grader to represent NCW in Scripps Spelling Bee


Kara Willson will represent North Central Washington in Washington DC this spring in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

 It was an impressive word list that greeted spellers last evening at the North Central Washington Regional Spelling Bee sponsored by WAEF. 44 students from grades 4th - 8th qualified to complete in the regional spelling bee representing schools in Okanogan, Grant, Chelan and Douglas counties. Each of the participants earned their place in the regional spelling bee by scoring as one of the top two spellers in their local, school spelling bee.

The winning word was "recidivis" for eighth grade Tonasket Middle School student Kara Willson who survived six rounds to capture this year's title and win a trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the Washington D.C. area in May. Recidivist is a noun that came from French, which formed it from a Latin word, and means one who persists in a crime: a habitual criminal.

 Manson Middle School sixth grade student Ella England earned second place and Kalea Macon, an eighth grade student at Foothills Middle School placed third.  

 The NCW Regional Spelling Bee was presented by WAEF for the 7th year. The format was of a traditional "spelldown" with each student receiving one word per round. At the end of each round, those who spelled their words correctly continued onto the next round. Approximately ­­­­­­300 guests filled the auditorium to support the spellers.

 Spellers were given a word list to study in advance of the regional competition. This word list was utilized in early rounds of the contest with the final rounds consisting of words students had likely not studied.

 In addition to the six-day trip to Washington DC to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, this year's champion won a one-year subscription to the Encyclopedia Britannica's online edition, and the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award.

 Both second and third place winners each received a $50 Amazon gift card.

 Special thank you to our officials for the evening: pronouncer Andrew Behler from Wenatchee Valley College; head judge Chris Willett from EnzaFruit Products and judges Dany Cavadini from Northwest Farm Credit Services and Missy Ramond from Wells Fargo Bank.

 (shown in photo above: lower level left to right: Judge Missy Raymond, champion Kara Willson, second place finisher Ella England, third place finisher Kalea Macon, WAEF executive director Jennifer Witherbee; second row left to right: pronouncer Andrew Behler, judge Chris Willett and judge Dany Cavadini)