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Cardinal battle: New Bremen students battle it out for first

February 7, 2012

Auglaize County Spelling Bee first place winner Erin Smith, from left to right, second place winner Alexa Paulus and third place winner Adrienne Laughman are all smiles as they hold their trophies. All three will advance to the regional spelling bee on March 17.

Word like parasite, chickabiddy and militant had three young ladies thinking on their toes Monday afternoon.

Three students from New Bremen went head-to-head, as they all took the top three places at the Auglaize County Spelling Bee.

Returning champion, Erin Smith, a fifth-grader at New Bremen Schools took home the first place trophy for the second year in a row, by spelling “romaine” — a type of lettuce — correctly.

“I was nervous, but not that nervous,” Erin said.

Having gone through the procedure last year helped to calm her nerves, as she knew what to expect this time around, but said she did get extra nervous when she was competing in the top two.

Overall, Erin said it felt pretty good to be moving on to the regional competition in March.

Erin studies her list of words by breaking down each section by letter.

“We go through all of the A’s, and if we didn’t know the A words, we looked them up on the computer,” the daughter of Teresa and Steve Smith said.

Erin said she has been studying every night prior to the competition.

New Bremen Schools seventh-grader Alexa Paulus is happy about receiving second place and also moving on to regionals.

“It feels great,” Alexa said. “My next goal is first place.”

Spelling runs in the family, as Alexa’s older sister, Miranda, competed in the county bee when she was in the eighth grade.

The daughter of Teresa and Michael Paulus said her studying techniques included writing the words down and visualizing them.

“I would write them down and say them and always look up the pronunciation,” Alexa said. “I studied almost every day.”

Alexa said she was also the most nervous when it came down to being in the top two.

A sixth-grader at New Bremen Schools, Adrienne Laughman, said that she was hoping to move on and compete at the next level.

“I was a little scared because I didn’t know if I was going to make it (to regionals),” the third-place winner said. “I really wanted to go.”

But Adrienne said that the trophy really did not matter, because making it this far was enough.

She prepared for the competition by sitting in her room and closing her eyes when she spelling the word.

The daughter of Michele and Travis Laughman said that her parents helped her study, but for the regional competition she plans to study a lot more.

“I was pretty surprised,” Adrienne said of winning third place at the county spelling bee. “I still can’t believe I’m going.”

The trio went back and forth by spelling words such as veterinarian, rhythmic and hilarity during Monday’s competition at the Auglaize County Educational Services Center, in Wapakoneta.

Erin, Alexa and Adrienne were all smiles after the competition because they will be competing in the Regional Spelling Bee in Lima on March 17.

Judges for the contest were T.J. Winkler, of Waynesfield-Goshen Schools, Leanne Keller, of Minster Schools, Diane Kramer, of New Bremen Schools and Pam Bergman, of New Knoxville Schools. The pronouncer was Shaun Ricker, of Waynesfield-Goshen Schools.

Auglaize County Educational Service Center Curriculum Director Karen Smith planned and put together the event.

The other participants who went home with medallions were Nick Chalk and Krista McGee, of Minster, Abby Maggi, Wyatt Childress and Jack Henry, of New Knoxville, and Jarrod Bly, Quintin Werner and Nick Young, of Waynesfield-Goshen. Seth Harmeyer, of Minster, was absent.   

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