By Wendy Holdren
After 30 rounds of challenging words, Nikki Zinzuwadia took first place at the Raleigh County Spelling Bee Wednesday.
Zinzuwadia, 12, of St. Francis de Sales Catholic School, won after four years of competing at the county level.
“It feels amazing,” she said after correctly spelling “vagrancy” to take the win. “I’ve always dreamed of winning the spelling bee.”
She said she spent a great deal of time studying and plans to hit the books once again in preparation for the state level competition March 16 in Charleston.
Spelling isn’t the only subject Zinzuwadia excels in; she was recognized in December 2011 for her winning entry to the Freedom Contest of the West Virginia Recycling Coalition and she also entered the Navy-Army National Bridge Design Competition at the national level in May.
Abby Stimson, a 7th grader at Victory Baptist Academy, was the runner-up of the Raleigh spelling bee, misspelling only the word “subtleness” by one letter.
She will serve as the alternate for the regional spelling bee. The second alternate will be Ashlynn Coffman of Park Middle School, who was in the competition for 18 rounds.
In the day and age of spell check and Google, correctly spelling words like “bequeath,” “etymology,” and “layette” is an impressive feat without technological assistance. All of the students who made it to the spelling bee Wednesday should be proud of their accomplishment.
Participants included elementary champion Kendal Win of Maxwell Hill Elementary, elementary runner-up Alexandra Croy of Greater Beckley Christian, Mia Sebastian of St. Francis De Sales, Nickolas Hall and Megan Belden of Beckley-Stratton Middle, Andy Williams of Victory Baptist Academy, Shayla Cooper and Colin Dingus of Greater Beckley Middle, Nida Amir of Park Middle, Logan Michael Kelly and Mycal Alexa Daniel of Independence Middle, and Luke Keaton and Amanda Farley of Shady Spring Middle. Johnny Drafton and Nathan Reichard of Trap Hill Middle were unable to attend.
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