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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Eisenhower students compete for spelling honors

  • “Compress.”

    It means, “to press together; force into less space,” “to cause to become a solid mass” and “to condense, shorten, or abbreviate,” according to dictionary.com

    But for Lily Parker, fifth-grader at Eisenhower Elementary School, the word meant she was the spelling bee champion of her school Thursday.
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  • "Compress."
    It means, "to press together; force into less space," "to cause to become a solid mass" and "to condense, shorten, or abbreviate," according to dictionary.com
    But for Lily Parker, fifth-grader at Eisenhower Elementary School, the word meant she was the spelling bee champion of her school Thursday.
    Parker was one of 13 fifth-graders who voluntarily participated in the school's annual spelling bee. The winner of any participating schools in the area will then advance to the McPherson County Spelling Bee, going head-to-head with other school champions Jan. 26. County schools rotate hosting, and it is Eisenhower's turn this year.
    Words and definitions are given by Scripps, a national spelling bee association.
    Eisenhower's bee lasted six rounds, beginning with the word "remarkable." Three participants were eliminated in rounds one and two, and two students were out in the third.
    By round four, only five contestants remained, all of which were girls. Three of these were Taylor Bruce, Heather Schimming and Ella Eaton, all of whom were eliminated before the battle for first in the sixth round.
    Then there were two.
    Josie Strathman successfully advanced "experiment," and Parker answered with "substitute."
    It would be "remedial" that spelled disaster for Strathman, which allowed Parker to take the upper hand with "villa." Parker was then required to successfully spell one more word, "compress," which allowed her to finish on top.
    Parker said she practiced for the spelling bee but was not confident going into the competition.
    "I was really scared," she said. "I didn't want to put myself through the doubt of loosing. But I feel really good now that I've tried something new."
    As the county bee approaches, Parker said she will continue to practice and do everything she can to prevent being scared.
    "I know kids who are also good spellers and they might try to win," she said. "It's just kind of scary."
    Eisenhower Principal Craig Marshall said spelling bees are beneficial for students.
    "It kind of puts you on the spot to perform and do well," he said. "Some have put a lot of time, energy and work into, and it gives you a chance to show off. It gives you an opportunity to feel some butterflies and emotion that you don't have everyday at school."
    Event coordinator and Eisenhower teacher Kari Moddelmog said getting up in front of a crowd is good for younger students.
    "I think they enjoy it," she said. "It's really neat to see them work toward a goal. Some of the quieter kids who are good spellers, it gives them a chance to shine. It's a big learning experience'
    Winners of the McPherson County spelling bee will advance to the state-wide competition later in the year.
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