On Friday, Jan. 12 Maxx Foreman earned top honors in the Jay Upper Elementary spelling bee.

The fourth grader walked away being the top fourth, fifth and sixth grade speller after spelling the words rescue then resigned beating out the other two remaining champions.

Foreman was followed by Gavin Tate, fifth grade, and Reed Williams, sixth grade.

Foreman will represent Jay Public Schools during the 41st Annual Joplin Globe Spelling Bee. The event is set for 8:30 a.m., Monday, March 19, at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School in Joplin. 

Students from Jay have competed in the Joplin Spelling Bee over the Tulsa Scripps National spelling bee due to the cost according to Fran Gardner.

“The kids get a list of words to study ahead of time," explained Gardner. "Each grade has a top speller who then compete against each other [top grade spellers] for the overall winner who represents Jay in the Joplin Globe Spelling Bee.”

Students earn “bragging rights,” for winning the various grade level competitions, explained Gardner. The top three students earn plaques or trophies.  

The judges for the competition were Marcie Phillips, Kellea Hampton and Julie Williams who is also mother of top speller Reed Williams.

The event was structured with announcer, who this year was Trish Williamson, reading the word followed by using it in a sentence and stating the word against.

Students must spell the word correctly to continue to the next round of the competition, but may ask to hear the word again or start over.

The announcer is provided a list of words and their matching sentences at the beginning of the bee and they are read off alphabetically.

When there are two competitors left the champion must spell the other competitors missed word correctly and then spell one final word correctly in order to claim the title of top speller.

The event for Jay stated at 8:35 and didn’t finish until shortly after 10:30 a.m.

Overall the students spelled a total of 266 words during the two hours of competition.

“There are three lists to spell off of, hard, harder and hardest,” said Gardner.

Foreman will have a few months to work on studying all of the words, in order to commit them to memory before the competition in Joplin.

In total the students in the Joplin Globe Spelling Bee are given approximately 2,500 words to learn. They compete against approximately 100 other local area students.

Winners during the Joplin Globe's spelling bee will be awarded trophies and cash prizes of a yet to be determined amount.

Spelling Bee word examples


blameful; ballerina;blasphemous