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Super spellers battle for county title at annual bee

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ST. IGNATIUS — After 10 rounds of competition between 32 students, Apollonia Hall, a fifth grader from Charlo Schools, was named the 2024 Lake County Spelling Bee champion. Apollonia spelled cupidity and methane correctly to take top honors and qualify for the state spelling bee in Bozeman on March 10.

This year’s county spelling bee was held in the new gym at St. Ignatius schools. Students from Charlo, Arlee and St. Ignatius schools in grades 4-8 competed in the event. Lake County Superintendent of Schools Carolyn Hall said that with variety of new academic contests available from geography, math, robotics contests and more, she understands why schools may opt out. This year marked Lake County’s 59th bee and the second in which Polson and Ronan schools didn’t compete.

Students participating in this year’s spelling bee worked their way through ten rounds of words that got progressively harder to spell. From trifle and trove in round one to glacier and abscond in round four, corroborate and impingement in round seven. Round nine, with words such as atrophy and cafeteria, tripped up many spellers. When the final speller didn’t spell his second word correctly to win, round nine spellers were all invited back to continue competing in round 10. 

Ultimately, Apollonia claimed first while St. Ignatius students took second and third (tie) places. 

Fifth grader Erianna Fat Lip came in second while Boston Evans, also in fifth grade, tied with Kysen Incashola, fourth grade, for third.

As county spelling bee champion, Apollonia Hall also received a grant from the Lower Flathead Valley Community Foundation to pay for travel and accommodations to attend the March 10 state bee.

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