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Beaty eighth grader wins countywide spelling bee | News, Sports, Jobs –

Feb 2, 2023
Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Chase May of Youngsville Middle School spells a word on his way to a third-place tie in the 2023 Warren County Spelling Bee Wednesday at Beaty-Warren Middle School.
The 2023 Warren County Spelling Bee featured 15 amazing spellers from all over Warren County.
It was exciting, even exhilarating at times, until, in the end, Beaty-Warren Middle School eighth-grader Vance Darr was ordained champion.
From the beginning, spellers whizzed overtly through the words posed to them by moderator Kelli Knapp, executive director of Warren Public Library.
Some of the spellers had special rituals they went through at the microphone as they spelled out words in front of judges Todd Mineweaser of Youngsville Borough Police, John Papalia of Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry, and Brandon Deppen of Warren County School District.
As the rounds went on, there was a subsidence of the pool of spellers. Two spellers’ days went defunct in round three. Four were knocked out in the fifth round, and three more in the sixth. The seventh and eighth rounds each claimed spellers. With four remaining, there was a break until two – Chase May of Youngsville Middle School on telenovelas and Libbey VanHouten of Eisenhower Middle School on preternaturally – were eliminated in the eleventh round.
At the beginning of the event, organizers announced the third-place ties would be broken by drawing for high card. At the end of the event, because they had been eliminated in the same round and were in third place, VanHouten and May returned to the stage for that draw. VanHouten pulled a jack to May’s 6 to claim third place.
The finalists, Darr and Liam Ferry, both of Beaty-Warren Middle School, went head-to-head for six rounds – advancing past words like mullioned, architrave, parathas, roulette, undine, sackbuts, hurdy gurdy, and Zimbabwe.
In the seventeenth round, Darr correctly spelled Vesuvian, while Ferry was tripped up by urad.
Darr had to successfully spell one more word to win the championship. He did so, managing Sikhism.
“I have a good memory,” Darr said when asked why he was so good in the bee.
He said he spent about 30 minutes a night memorizing the words on the list provided to all the spellers and felt good with all the words.
For winning the bee, Darr is eligible to attend the Western Pennsylvania Spelling Bee at Robert Morris University.
He is unsure how he will compare to the other spellers there, but he said he has high hopes.
Darr also won a $200 prize from the Times Observer and a $100 prize from Northwest Bank.
Ferry received a $75 gift card from Northwest and will be the county’s alternate for the Western Pennsylvania event.
VanHouten received a $50 gift card from Northwest.
Organizer Tiffany Mandeville was impressed by all of the competitors.
“Those kids are awesome spellers,” she said. “It was pretty amazing.”
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