Thursday, January 16, 2014
For seventh-grader Michael Havasy, the word “sentient” is more than an adjective that means “responsive to or conscious of sense impressions.” It also symbolizes a first place finish at the Area II Spelling Bee and a trip to the County Bee.
Michael clenched the Area II Spelling Bee Jan. 13 at North Augusta High School and is already preparing himself for the County Bee.
“I’m pretty excited about winning,” Michael said. “I’m just going to keep studying the word list and the language rules to get ready for the County Bee.”
Michael’s mom, Caryl Havasy, said she is always proud of her son when he competes in the spelling bee competitions.
“He’s been to three so far,” Carly explained. “He came in second in sixth grade and last year he won the County as an alternate and went on to place fifth in the region so we’re very proud of him.”
Fifth-grader Makena Griffis placed second followed by fifth-grader Colin Donaldson who finished in third. Donaldson will go on to the County Bee as an alternate and Griffis will join Michael as a participant in the County Bee.
Griffis said she is also going to continue preparing for the County Bee in her own unique way.
“It’s really important to study; but I’m a really strong reader so that helps a lot too,” she said. “There are some vivid vocabulary words when you read books so I usually learn that way and that helps me become a better reader and a better speller.”
Belvedere Elementary Assistant Principal Kimmerie Allen was one of the other coordinators of the spelling bee and said the students’ dedication shows in their work ethic and how fearless they are.
“It takes a lot of studying and effort,” Allen said. “We always have good participation and the children really show their bravery when they get on stage in front of so many people.”
Mossy Creek Assistant Principal Amy McClure also helped with coordinating the spelling bee and commended the students on their efforts dating back to the individual school spelling bees.
“The school bees were nail biters and came down to the last seconds,” she said. “They work so hard and deserve all of the recognition they receive.”
The County Spelling Bee will be held on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at the URS Center for Performing Arts located at 126 Newberry St. in Aiken. The event will be open to the public.
Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard. He joined the paper in June. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Follow him on Twitter @ DerrekAsberry.