Sophie Shafer is the Queen Bee
Sabetha Middle School sixth-grade student Sophie Shafer wins her second consecutive PTO Spelling Bee.
Nine rounds and 17 words were the battlefield for fellow sixth-grade classmates Sophie Shafer and Reve’ Nonnast at the 2019 Sabetha PTO Spelling Bee on Friday, Jan. 4. Shafer was eventually declared the champion when she correctly spelled “couriers” after Nonnast misspelled it. Shafer then correctly spelled “sepia” for the win, which made Nonnast runner-up.
The two sixth-grade classmates, along with the other 22 top spellers in grades fifth through eighth, engaged in a 16-round spelling showdown with 112 words.
“I was enthralled by the final competition by the final competition by the Shafer girl and the Nonnast girl,” said veteran judge Marvin Kohlmeier. “It was fun to see it come down to two girls with such poise playing each other like Clemson and Alabama. And it was really fun to see then having fun competing at such a high level with such class.”
Shafer, who won her first PTO Spelling Bee in 2018 as a fifth-grade student, said she felt proud to win for the second time.
“Now I know that hard work pays off,” she said. “I was definitely surprised, nervous and excited!”
At the beginning of Round 6, the seven spellers remained and all were guaranteed a chance to compete in the County Spelling Bee. Seventh, sixth and fifth places were decided back-to-back with sixth-grade students Brody Deters and Tallen Keim and eighth-grade student Carly Hartter. Deters missed “dismissal” to earn seventh place, followed by Keim missing “supposedly” for sixth place. Hartter then followed by misspelling “irked” for fifth place.
Eighth-grade student Halle Scoby took the fourth spot when she missed “writhing” in the seventh round. Teagan Saner, a seventh-grade student, misspelled “miniature” to take third in the eighth round.
That left Shafer and Nonnast with a 17-word duel, eventually leaving Shafer the victor.
“Sophie and Reve’ were both confident spellers,” said pronouncer Leslie Scoby. “These girls made it look easy!”
Judges for this year’s spelling bee were Bill Simpson, Marvin Kohlmeier and Patty Locher. Sabetha PTO coordinated the event.
While Shafer was confident she knew all the words she was given, she wasn’t sure she was going to win until it actually happened.
“I know Reve’ studied too, and she was tough competition,” Shafer said.
Shafer likes spelling and said that spelling bees are fun, even though they are nerve-wracking. Shafer said her easiest word was her winning word — “sepia.” Her hardest word was “humanitarian.”
“It is a long word and I knew how to spell it, but I was afraid I’d miss or add a letter,” she said.
Both Shafer and Nonnast plan to study the word lists before the County Bee.
To prepare for the County Bee this year, Shafer said she will practice the words a lot more. She said one lesson she learned from last year’s County Bee was to practice more and not get so nervous.
“Try your best, stay calm and practice, but most importantly, have fun!” Shafer said was her advice for her fellow competitors.
To prepare for the PTO Spelling Bee, Nonnast said she went over every word on the word lists and plans to prepare in the same way for the County Bee. Nonnast loves to spell and said that writing is her favorite thing to do.
“If you know anyone who is reading this and is in the spelling bee, tell them they will do great and to study hard,” Nonnast said.
Nemaha County Bee
The top seven spellers will compete at the Nemaha County Spelling Bee at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Nemaha County Courthouse in Seneca.
Classroom winners qualifying for this year’s PTO Spelling Bee were:
Eighth grade: Trinity Detweiler, Kristi Edelman, Halle Scoby, Carly Hartter, Nathan Voos and Mary Lukert. Alternates were Karrington Robinson and Kirsten Hartter.
Seventh grade: Harper Smith, Taylor Menold, Camryn Duryea, Jeter Worthley, Bayley Wasinger and Teagan Saner. Alternate was Marcus Bauman.
Sixth grade: McKenna Gatz, Reve’ Nonnast, Sophie Shafer, Brody Deters, Kylah Edelman and Tallen Keim. Alternate was Jaren Broxterman.
Fifth grade: Korbyn Stinnett, Kenton Farwell, Kiera Keim, Krysta Menold, Chloe Detweiler and Abby Whittaker. Alternates were Naomi Pearson, Will Voos and Hailee Daharsh.
Top classroom spellers for kindergarten through fourth grade were:
Fourth grade: Nathan Smith, Jayce Rebant and Kaden Drahota.
Third grade: Taylor Wiltz, Hadden Bachelor and Colton Delome.
Second grade: Easton Renyer, Emrie Niehues and Sydney Aberle.
First grade: Seamus McElroy, Paycen Schremmer and Walker Erdley.
Kindergarten: Emma Wikle, Hadden Strahm, Autumn Lang and Aiden Lierz.