Eighth-grade Woodland Middle School student Sarah-Jessica Sedy of Coeur d’Alene out-spelled 44 other fourth- through eighth-graders from the five northern counties of Idaho to become the champion speller in the ninth annual North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee March 17 at North Idaho College.
Sedy has previously participated in the Coeur d’Alene School District spelling bee, which is a qualifier to the regional bee, but she’s never qualified for the North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee before.
Sedy is the recipient of an all-expense paid trip to the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee May 27 through June 1, courtesy of event sponsor Hagadone Newspapers. She also received a Merriam Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, a $100 Samuel Louis Sugarman U.S. savings bond, a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online Student Edition, a $20 Amazon.com gift certificate, a plaque, a medallion and a North Idaho College events pass for the 2012-2013 school year.
“Every year the poise and ability of the participants just blows me away,” said North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee Coordinator Mindy Patterson. “The caliber of the spellers gets better and better each year, as you could clearly tell from the intensity of this competition.”
This year’s spelling bee went on for 40 rounds, nearly twice as long as any other regional bee in the past. The second-place speller Rebekah Pinkerton, a sixth-grade home school student of Coeur d’Alene who won the regional spelling bee in 2011, and Sedy went back and forth for 13 rounds correctly spelling words such as “embarcadero,” “balalaika” and “rejoneador” before Pinkerton slipped up on the word “prosciutto.” After correctly spelling “bobbejaan” the round prior, Sedy correctly spelled the anticipated championship word “keeshond,” a dog of a Dutch breed of compact medium-sized gray dogs, to be crowned the 2012 North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee champion.
Andrew Stedman, an eighth-grade home school student from Rathdrum and also a returner to the regional bee, earned third place, making it to Round 26 of the bee before tripping up on the word “mihrab.”
The fourth-place speller was Sarah Chandler, an eighth-grader from the Kootenai School District. She has also participated in previous regional spelling bees and progressed through 19 rounds.
Each of the 45 participants from 52 schools in 11 districts across North Idaho, including private school and home school divisions, received medallions and NIC events passes.
The event was sponsored by Hagadone Newspapers and coordinated and hosted by NIC.
North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee placings were as follows: Placing Eliminated Participant: Grade: District: School: 1st place (Round 40) Sarah-Jessica Sedy 8th Coeur d’Alene Woodland Middle School 2nd place (Round 39) Rebekah Pinkerton 6th Home School Coeur d’Alene 3rd place (Round 26) Andrew Stedman 8th Home School Rathdrum 4th place (Round 19) Sarah Chandler 8th Kootenai Kootenai Jr./Sr. High School 5th place (Round 9) Elissa Garrett 8th Private House of the Lord 6th place (Round 7) Kiana Lacroix 5th Coeur d’Alene Skyway Elementary Matthew Meyer 6th Coeur d’Alene Woodland Middle School 7th place (Round 6) Bailey Brodwater 4th Lakeland Twin Lakes Elementary Cassie Tappa 7th Lakeland Lakeland Junior High Rohnin Randles 8th Lakeland Lakeland Junior High 8th place (Round 5) Brooke Madison 4th Lake Pend Oreille Sagle Elementary Katie Clairmont 4th Boundary County Valley View Elementary 9th place (Round 4) Ellis Gaddie 8th Lake Pend Oreille Sandpoint Middle School David Cossairt 7th Boundary County Boundary Co. Middle School Kristen Nethercott 4th Coeur d’Alene Bryan Elementary Logan Koenig 5th Private Lutheran Acad. of the Master Grace Meyer 5th Lake Pend Oreille Northside Elementary 10th place (Round 3) Cienna Roget 6th Lake Pend Oreille Washington Elementary Winston Derr 5th St. Maries Heyburn Elementary Esther Pinkerton 5th Home School Coeur d’Alene Megan MacKinney 4th Kootenai Harrison Elementary Haley Gordon 7th Coeur d’Alene Woodland Middle School Ashlynn Rushing 5th Boundary County Valley View Elementary Antaun Welch 6th Plummer-Worley Lakeside Middle School 11th place (Round 2) Anna Cuentas 4th Home School Post Falls Kyle Jarvi 7th St. Maries St. Maries Middle School Garrett Naccarato 6th West Bonner County Priest River Elementary Paisley Davis 8th Kellogg Kellogg Middle School Aaron Johnson 7th Home School Hayden Chandler Axtell 5th Lakeland Garwood Elementary Chloe Livingston 5th West Bonner County Priest River Elementary Shea Curran 5th Kellogg Canyon Science Magnet 12th place (Round 1) Kendra Wilhite 6th Lakeland John Brown Elementary Roxanne Koler 4th Private Lutheran Acad. of the Master Haley Loffer 6th Private Christian Center School Kara Slater 4th West Bonner County Idaho Hill Elementary Jocelyn Hosley 7th Kellogg Kellogg Middle School Darcy Millikin 4th St. Maries Heyburn Elementary Elizabeth Quigley 6th St. Maries Upriver Elementary Aidan Tuzil 7th Private House of the Lord Corrina Hill 4th Kellogg Pinehurst Elementary Madison Napierala 6th Kootenai Kootenai Jr./Sr. High School Reece Bell 6th Boundary County Boundary Co. Middle School Sage Levora 7th Lake Pend Oreille Sandpoint Middle School Samantha Adrian 4th Plummer-Worley Lakeside Elementary
Sarah-Jessica Sedy, a Woodland Middle School eighth-grader and champion of the North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee (center) is congratulated by North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee Coordinator Mindy Patterson (left) and Regional Bee Pronouncer Joe Jacoby (right) after the event.