Students battle in #8216;war of words#039;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Some 24 R.L. Austin students had to put their &#8220noodles” to work last Wednesday morning in the school gym in Georgiana.

And &#8220noodle” was just one of the tricky words the 3rd through 6th graders had to spell during the school's annual spelling bee.

After two practice rounds, the &#8220real deal” got underway, with students encouraged to &#8220speak up” by Valorie Lawson of WSFA Television. Lawson served as the pronouncer for the event.

&#8220Remember, if you don't understand a word, ask for a definition,” she prompted the students with a smile.

With students tripping up over some tough words, it came down to the final four left standing: Paige Campbell, Camera Mitchell, Justin Oikle and Shawn Giddens.

Campbell was stumped by &#8220expertise” and Mitchell set down to &#8220gunnysack.”

That left Oikle and Giddens in a battle of words.

&#8220Gorgeous” proved a not-so-lovely word for Oikle, while Giddens ably handled &#8220rehearse.”

Principal Alton Abrams declared fifth grader Giddens the school's winner with Oikle, a sixth grader, serving as the runner-up.

The boys will go on to compete against winners from across Butler County in the countywide spelling bee to be held at Georgiana High School in the spring.

All students participating in the spelling bee received certificates from Principal Abrams, while Oikle and Giddens took home trophies for their spelling expertise.

&#8220I want to thank all the parents who turned out to support the children today and who allowed their children to participate. I want to encourage you all to buy spelling books next year so these students can be even better prepared,” Abrams said.

&#8220Sound out those words for your children at home; don't speak baby-talk to them.”

The R.L. Austin Spelling Bee was judged by Roy Hale, Susan Lambert, and Robert Cheatham. Retha Reed presided over the dictionary, while Wanda Parker and Denise Campbell served as sponsors for the event. Chance House, student council vice-president and Whittany Hugler, student council secretary, also assisted with the program.

Other R.L. Austin students participating in the spelling bee were: Willie Mobley, LaCory Hall, Bailey McCullough, Rahkeem Hugler, Matthew Sheffield, Zarianna Mobley, Alexis Chambers, Jadarion Davidson, Brittany Giddens, Matthew Colvin, Jasmine Powell, Kaleirah Mobley, Shandalier Whipple, Andy Colvin, Unique Henderson, Morgan Burkett, Artillia Owens, Tyler Gomez, Marvin Posey and Seth Kelley.