By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The top spellers from the Tupelo and Lee County school districts will square off on Monday for the right to be the county spelling champion.
The annual Lee County Spelling Bee will be at 4 p.m. at the Hancock Leadership Center on the ICC-Tupelo campus. It will feature the top three finishers from each district’s competition.
Maria Kaltchenko won the Tupelo School District’s crown after spelling “mediocre” in the 10th round. Maria will be joined from Tupelo on Monday by Victor Milev (second place) and Maury Johnston (third).
The Lee County School District’s competition featured 21 contestants from seven schools, with Guntown seventh-grader Jacob Roland taking the title after spelling “monitory” and “forensics” in the 15th round.
Joining Jacob from Lee County are Plantersville’s Aaliyah Lee (second place) and Mooreville Middle’s Blake Harrell (third).
Aaliyah won the county bee in 2010.
Last year, Mooreville’s Jennifer Clifton defeated Milam’s Azaria Woods by spelling “annotate” in the 12th round. The two had battled for five rounds. Mooreville’s Emmalee Blaylock finished third.
Marrion Winders will pronounce the words in Monday’s competition. The winner will advance to the Regional Bee in Memphis.