The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

J.J. Jendro Is Blaine County's Spelling Bee Champion


February 20, 2019

Blaine County Spelling Champions. Blaine County Superintendent of Schools, Valerie White (center) presented Jacoby Ball (left) and J.J. Jendro (right) with plaques honoring their spelling prowess at the Blaine County Spelling Bee on February 12. Jendro placed first while Ball was second and will serve as an alternate at the State Bee in Billings on March 16.

Forty-seven spellers from across Blaine County gathered in the Lloyd Sweet Auditorium at Chinook High School on February 12 to determine who would emerge as Blaine County's Spelling Bee champion. After fifteen rounds, J.J. Jendro, a seventh grader who attends Zurich Elementary School, was declared the winner. Jacoby Ball, a seventh grader representing Hays/Lodge Pole, captured second place. Blaine County Superintendent of Schools, Valerie White presented Jendro and Ball with plaques honoring their achievement.

Nineteen spellers went down in the first round of spelling competition. By the fifth round, twenty-two more had dropped off, leaving four others besides Jendro and Ball alive: Daniel MacLeod, a Chinook eighth grader; Holly Hofer, a seventh grader from North Harlem Colony; Samuel Christensen, a Chinook seventh grader; and Chantry Jorgenson, a Turner eighth grader.

After MacLeod misspelled bevel and Hofer misspelled muumuu, four spellers entered round six. All four correctly spelled their words, advancing to round seven where competition began to escalate. Although Jorgenson was the only one to come away without a missed spelling, he missed the championship word leotard, putting all four spellers back into play to see round nine.

In round nine, Christensen went down on fiery, and Jorgenson lost his spot in contention when he misspelled stipple.

In the tenth round, Jendro missed the word excise, but Ball failed to correctly spell hyphen, his championship word. From there, Ball and Jendro volleyed back and forth on championship words such as crochet, praline, incorruptible, and albatross. After correctly spelling vibrato, his championship word in the sixteenth round, Jendro threw his arms up in the traditional sign of victory and emerged as the Bee winner.

Jendro recalled one moment in the Bee during round four when he was asked to spell wikiwiki. Although he responded, "And that's a word?" he spelled it without a hitch.

Spellers from Chinook, Cleveland, Harlem, Hays/Lodge Pole, North Harlem Colony, Turner, White Clay Immersion School, and Zurich Elementary advanced to the Blaine County Spelling Bee after qualifying in their individual schools.

The State Spelling Bee will take place in the Fortin Center at Rocky Mountain College in Billings on Saturday, March 16, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Only first place Jendro will advance to represent Blaine County. Second place, Ball is an alternate and will only compete if Jendro is unable to attend.

Judges for the County Spelling Bee were Jessica Aberg, Jordan Heilig, and Dr. Donna Miller. Shelly Harmon served as Pronouncer, and Carol Elliot assisted with student management and traffic control.


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