Bowden wins, doesn’t ‘choke’ at spelling bee

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 19, 2010

One could say Sim Bowden didn’t “choke” last week as he spelled the winning word “artichoke,” securing his spot as county spelling bee champ.

Bowden, a student at Andalusia Elementary School and the son of Ben and Angie Bowden, said he was a bit nervous on stage during the bee, which was held Mon., Feb. 8, at AES. His fellow contestants were Gunner Glenn of Opp Middle School and Walker Rickett of W.S. Harlan Elementary School.

“To me, the spelling bee was more of an academic competition and it made me nervous up at the podium because I was only used to doing sports,” Bowden said. “I didn’t get any hard words, though thank goodness.”

To prepare, Bowden had his parents call out the words and he wrote them down 10 times each.

“I was worried about getting talc and guru,” he said. “They’re short words but it’s hard to remember how to spell them.”

Next, Bowden will travel to Birmingham on March 6 to compete in the state spelling bee. That winner will travel to Washington, D.C., just like “in the movie Akeelah and the Bee,” said Sandra Dendy, fifth grade teacher at AES and spelling bee coordinator.

“This is a great competition that’s open to all students in fourth through the eighth grade,” Dendy said. “But in year’s past, participation has just dwindled down. I hope that changes in the coming year.”