Magnet school student wins MC Spelling Bee
The Morgan County Spelling Bee featured 28 local students and concluded on the 31st round with the word “allegro.”
Mahak Agarwalla of Leon Sheffield Magnet School in Decatur was the spelling bee winner. Maren Elizabeth Weathers of St. Ann Catholic School was named the runner up.
The grueling match lasted about two hours Thursday afternoon at the Hartselle High School Auditorium.
Dr. Nancy Horton, the Hartselle City Schools Assistant Superintendent, moderated the rounds. Beth Patton, Beverly Waldrop and Sharon Walker served as judges, and Beth Thompson of the Alabama Reading Initiative was the pronouncer.
Horton said this was the longest spelling bee in which she has ever taken part.
“I have never had a bee go on for 31 rounds in my whole career,” Horton said. “It definitely shows the great spellers we have in this county. They all did such a great job. Those final five held on for quite a while.”
Agarwalla said he had not previously participated in the Morgan County Spelling Bee.
“This was my first time to be in the Morgan County Spelling Bee,” Agarwalla said. “I’ve always been interested in spelling. To prepare for the event, I look over the words and divide them into parts that are easier to spell. For example, I would divide plateau into ‘plat’ and ‘eau’. That way I can remember the spellings easier.”
The win qualified Agarwalla for the Alabama Spelling Bee March 7 in Alabaster. Agarwalla is the son of Sachin and Namrata Agarwalla of Decatur.
Four Hartselle City Schools students competed in the spelling bee. They were Emma Buckley of Barkley Bridge, Parker Stewart of Crestline, Aubrey Garrison of F.E. Burleson and Natalie Jenson of Hartselle Intermediate School.
Twelve Morgan County Schools students participated. They were Bret Evans of Danville Middle, Reid Ellis of Danville-Neel Elementary, Jonathan Goodwin of Eva School, Gavin Lee of Falkville Elementary, Gavin Sapp of Falkville High School, Jeremiah Dervis of Lacey’s Spring, Elijah Hopkins of Priceville Elementary, Kella Eckenrod of Priceville Junior High, Lesli Zavala of Union Hill Junior High, Kinley Terry of West Morgan Elementary and Russell Haggard of West Morgan Middle School.