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Friday Harbor Middle Schooler wins Rotary Spelling Bee; Paideia student takes second place

Thirty-five middle school students from Orcas and San Juan Islands took the stage Wednesday afternoon at Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church for the annual Rotary Club Spelling Bee. By the end of the third round, the field was reduced by half. Shark was the first word that eliminated a competitor. It was spelled correctly but the speller forgot to say the word before spelling it. This technical error played a part in five competitors leaving the stage. The words were significantly more difficult in each of the five rounds. 

Every competitor received a participation ribbon after they left the stage. 

After an hour of competition, three dozen chairs were empty and two students stood at the microphones ready for the final round. Eighth-grader Adele Jack and seventh-grader Asher Cullen were the finalists.  

"Congressional" tripped up Cullen. Adele spelled it correctly and then was asked to spell "insinuate" for the win. She did and both spellers burst into smiles and high-fived. 


(Left to right) Friday Harbor Middle School teacher Michael McKinnon, Adele Jack, Asher Cullen, and Paideia School teacher Mrs. Hallock were all smiles after the competition. Adele will receive $100, her school $300, and her classroom $200. Asher received $75, his school $200, and his classroom $100. 


Last modified onThursday, 23 March 2023 14:58


  • Beatrice Carla Wright, Publicity, Rotary Club of San Juan Islands Tuesday, 28 March 2023 16:22 Comment Link Report

    Dear Norris,
    For the past 15 years, Rotary's Spelling Bee has been held at the San Juan Community Theater. Last year, their full schedule couldn't accommodate our dates. Rev Greg Lund is a Rotarian and offered the use of Friday Harbor First Presbyterian Church for the 16th Annual Rotary Spelling Bee. Again this year, the theatre schedule wasn't open to our dates and, we returned to the church location. Rotary Clubs have no religious and political affiliations. All county schools, public and private, are invited to enter applications from 4th - 8th students to participate. The praise the students receive is from friends, family, teachers for their participation in the Rotary Spelling Bee!

  • Norris Palmer Thursday, 23 March 2023 09:04 Comment Link Report

    Why was this at a church? Did all religions get invited?

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