Dogwood Spellers Compete in Annual Spelling Bee

Last Friday, January 5th, the seventeen talented fifth graders at Dogwood Elementary faced off in the annual spelling bee. With Deputy Superintendent Josh Cathy presiding over the event, the competition unfolded into intense competition.

As the rounds progressed, tension mounted with each eliminated participant. They even had to go into extra words because the final two contestants were in the last round for so long.

"It was really scary because if you mess up, you get out," said eventual champion Siri Tetala. Feeling the pressure of a single chance, Siri focused and took one word at a time.

But nerves didn't stand a chance against Siri's determination. After more than twenty rounds, she emerged victorious. "I was relieved when I won," she said.

Houston Wenzler secured a well-deserved second place. He spelled with confidence as he progressed through the rounds. 

The success of the bee was a testament to the dedication of the fifth-grade ELA teachers, Linda Fredrick and Alexa Guynes, who organized the event. They held class level bees to choose the 17 participants, and they helped the participants study word lists.

“I am in awe of the 5th graders every year during the spelling bee,” fifth grade teacher Alexa Guynes said. "It's clear that they study diligently, and their hard work pays off."

Siri's victory doesn't end on the local stage. She will now represent Dogwood in the Shelby County County Spelling Bee on February 9 at the University of Memphis at 9am. There, the top 50 spellers in the county will compete for a place in the Scripps National Spelling Bee this spring.