WEST JEFFERSON — At the end of the night – there can be only one.
Thirteen elementary and middle school students came out on Thursday night to compete in the 2016 Ashe County Schools Spelling Bee.
But, it was eighth-grader Miguel Gaspar who took home the night’s first place prize, making him a two-time county spelling bee champion.
Fifth-grader Britny Contador was the night’s first runner up.
“Those kids did a great job. They’ve worked very hard to get where they were last night,” Ashe County School Superintendent Dr. Todd Holden said. “It was absolutely marvelous.”
The judges panel included Keana Triplett, Ashe County High School English teacher, Don Church, retired Ashe County Schools principal and Jamie Little, Ashe County Schools Student Services Coordinator.
According to Holden, the spelling bee’s success proves just how hard the teachers of Ashe County work.
“They’ve worked exceptionally hard, long hours coaching the kids and helping the kids,” Holden said. “All in all, it speaks about how the teachers of Ashe County are the best in the state.”
Holden said that spelling for students of Ashe County Schools begins in Kindergarten with the program “Letterland.”
“It helps quite a bit for our students across the board,” Holden said. “It’s a program kids seem to love.”
Gaspar will now move forward to the Winston-Salem Journal Regional Spelling Bee which will be held on March 20.
According to Holden, Thursday’s spelling bee used similar words that will be used during the regional competition.
Holden said he would like to express his thanks to everyone involved with the Ashe County Spelling Bee including the judges panel, Josh Beckworth, Dr. Lee Beckworth, Sandra Peterson and Jerri Vogler.
Here are all the students who competed during the Ashe County Spelling Bee:
Fourth grade: Cohen Richardson, Whitley Younger and Anna Simmons; fifth grade: Noah Noblett, Britny Contador and Jocelyn Taylor; sixth grade Alejandro Ramirez, Hailey Vandergraff and Emily Hendrix; seventh grade: Autumn Blackburn and Gustavo Ramos; eighth grade: Miguel Gaspar and Tyler Russell.
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.