Local students among top spelling bee finishers

By Julia Green
Two students from Stamford Central School placed first at the Delaware and Otsego County Arts and Cultural Final Spelling Bee on Saturday at The Roxbury Arts Group.
Kayla Ballard correctly spelled “ambient” to place first in the fourth- and fifth-grade bee while Jessica Alexander correctly spelled “epistle” to take first place in the sixth- through eighth-grade bee.
Roxbury student Brandy Fane placed second in the fourth- and fifth-grade bee after misspelling “ambient.”
Andes Central School student Serena Bacon placed third in the fourth- and fifth-grade bee; she was eliminated after incorrectly spelling “sculpture.” Her brother, Torin Bacon, placed third in the sixth- through eighth-grade bee after being stumped by the word “elegy.”
The Arts and Cultural Spelling Bee is a community collaboration between The Roxbury Arts Group (RAG), Creating Rural Opportunities Program (CROP) program of ONC BOCES, and the Bright Hill Literary Center in Treadwell. Funded by the Tiananderrah Foundation and Kids in the Kaatskills, the project was launched to create a greater understanding of the arts and artistic terminology among children ages nine through 13.
The final bee was preceded by individual spelling bees at area schools; winners from each school bee qualified to compete at Saturday’s regional bee.
Local CROP coordinators are Jennifer Ennis (Andes), Rebecca Miller (Margaretville) and Ellen Stewart (Roxbury).