Cynnloch Gibson Wins Blaine County Spelling Bee


February 16, 2022

In the sixth round of the 2022 Blaine County Spelling Bee, fifth grader Cynnloch Gibson correctly spelled fructose to win a trip to Bozeman. As a result of his Grand Champion Speller status, he will advance to the Treasure State Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 12. Reserve Champion and first alternate is Bridget Reed, an eighth grader from Turner Public School.

Eighteen spellers, representing four of the schools in Blaine County, competed in the 2022 Blaine County Spelling Bee on Wednesday, February 9, in the Lloyd Sweet Auditorium at Chinook High School.

Blaine County Superintendent of Schools and Director of the County Bee, Valerie White welcomed the spellers and members of the audience and briefly explained the rules. She also introduced the Judges: Tori MacLean DesRosier, Donna Miller, and Shandel Fouts; the Pronouncer: Kelsie Harwood; Rounds Keeper and Event Organizer: Mari Anne Skoyen; and Kelsey Harry, whom White called the Bee's "Recording Artist and Dictionary."

Following those introductory remarks, spellers from Chinook, Harlem, Turner, and Zurich engaged in a practice round before launching into the official rounds of the spelling bee. Five spellers went down in the first round-with words like potato and freight causing difficulty. Rounds Two and Three each saw four more spellers drop out.

With the beginning of Round Four, only five spellers remained. That number dwindled until only two were left standing to compete in Round Five. After Reed misspelled emperor, Gibson advanced to Round Six and correctly spelled the championship word: fructose.

For his spelling prowess, Gibson, a student in Mrs. MacLeod's class at Meadowlark Elementary School in Chinook, will represent Blaine County in the Treasure State Spelling Bee in Bozeman on March 12. Scheduled to begin at 1:00 in the afternoon, the 2022 Treasure State Spelling Bee will take place at Montana State University's Strand Union Building.

The daughter of Anita and Steve Reed, Bridget Reed will attend in Gibson's place if for some reason he is unable to compete next month. Cynnloch Gibson is the son of Danelle and Dr. Hugo Gibson.

Upon the Bee's conclusion, Superintendent White presented Gibson and Reed with plaques, awarding them for their spelling aptitudes.

Gallatin County Superintendent of Schools and Director of the state bee, Matthew Henry has announced that the 57th Annual Treasure State Spelling Bee will occur in person. The bee will be conducted using the traditional oral spelling bee format, and pandemic protocols for contestants and audience members will be in place where possible.

Prizes will be awarded to the top spellers, and the winner of the Treasure State Bee will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May 2022, where that individual will compete for $50,000 and other prizes. During the week of Memorial Day, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, will serve as the venue for the National Spelling Bee. Host of the event will be accomplished actor, director, educator, and lifelong children's literacy advocate: LeVar Burton.


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