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Leon Sheffield's Deep Patel won the 2019 Morgan County Spelling Bee. The 2020 bee will be held next month at Hartselle High

2020 Morgan County Spelling Bee set for Feb. 4

The 2020 Morgan County Spelling Bee will take place Feb. 4 at 9 a.m. in the Hartselle High School auditorium. 

Dena Mayfield, professional development/curriculum coordinator and Pre-K director for Hartselle City Schools, said the bee will host spellers from each school in the Morgan County, Decatur City and Hartselle City systems, as well as Decatur Heritage Christian Academy and Saint Ann Catholic School. 

“Each school has a winner and a runner-up,” Mayfield said. “If, for some reason, the winner can’t compete, the runner-up would represent the school. The bee usually takes around two hours to compete, but sometimes you just never know with those final rounds.”  

Leon Sheffield Magnet School’s Deep Patel, then a fourth grader, won the 2019 county spelling bee. Deep bested 31 other spellers over 46 rounds, correctly spelling the word “masala” in the championship round to claim the crown. 

The winner of the bee will advance to the 2020 Alabama State Spelling Bee.  

The 2019 state bee was held in Alabaster and was won by Erin Howard, a seventh-grade student at Mountain Gap School in Huntsville. With the win, Howard advanced to the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland.  

Howard, competing in her fourth national bee, was named one of the bee’s eight co-champions, taking home a trophy and a $50,000 cash prize. The event, held every summer, is broadcast nationally on ESPN and ESPN2.