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Spellers reel in their words

A trio of students from Franklin County Schools battled it out in a war of words last week, as the district conducted the annual spelling bee at Chapman Auditorium Wednesday morning, Dec. 14.

It eventually came down to fifth grade Myleigh Beasley, sixth grader Isabella Frye and seventh grader Saige Barber.

Beasley slipped up on “inaudible” and not a sound could be heard.

Frye nailed “pistons” and she was driving for the win.

Barber erred on “feisty” but he still stayed spunky.

It was then Frye’s turn to nail the winning word, “Chicago,” and a wind from as far as Lake Michigan had swept her to victory.

A student in Leigh Smith’s Language Arts class at Franklin, she said she enjoys novels and mysteries, especially the books the class is tackling, “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry, and “Hatchet,” a wilderness survival novel by Gary Paulsen.

“Number the Stars,” a work of historical fiction, is about the escape of a family of Jews from Copenhagen, Denmark, during World War II, and is keeping with the study of the Holocaust.

The bee was overseen by Chimene Johnson, the former principal at the ABC School. One big announcement that emerged at the outset of the bee was that Franklin County teacher Donna Barber was getting ready to retire and so this would be the last of the many bees she had organized over her more than three-decade long career.

David Adlerstein served as pronouncer, with Bring Me A Book’s Karen Kessel, Apalachicola librarian Lucy Carter and former school librarian Shirley Ammons. Elinor Mount-Simmons from ED Corps had planned to serve as a judge but was absent due to a sudden death in her immediate family.

Participating from the ABC School were eighth graders Chason Martina and Ryan Sandoval, seventh graders Jada Lockley and Madison Martina, sixth graders, and twin sisters Ava and Zoe Everett, fifth graders Jaylen Bradley and Cooper Taranto and fourth graders Kai Rodriguez and Ezra Hernandez.

Participating from the Franklin  County Schools, in addition to Frye, Beasley and Barber, were eighth grader Joshua McKenzie, seventh grader Ethan Shiver, sixth grader Ayden Millender, fifth grader Aubrianna Davis and fourth graders Kymbri Granger and Lexi Griggs. 

Frye now moves on to the regional spelling bee early next year in Tallahassee, sponsored by Envision Credit Union and conducted under rules made by the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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