Havre Daily News
It's not a game and it's not a race, yet there is still only one w-i-n-n-e-r.
Fifth- through eighth-grade students pondered odd words and scratched their heads Tuesday in the Havre Middle School assembly room for the 41st annual Hill County Spelling Bee.
Havre Middle School eighth-grader Demi Billy was the winner out of 72 participants from 11 schools. Billy, 14, said it was “nerve-racking” to spell the words in front of people, but she breezed through her last two words, “pheasant” and “salivate.”
“I didn't study for this one,” she said, “but I probably should for the next one. I'll probably practice by looking at the dictionary.”
Billy advances to the Treasure State Spelling Bee in Billings on April 1.
Colby See, seventh-grader at North Star School, finished second, while Havre Middle School sixth-grader Devyn Carpenter took home a third-place trophy. See and Carpenter, each 12, also were a little tense during the final round.
“I was very nervous,” See said.
“Yeah, it's kind of hard to describe what I was feeling,” Carpenter added.
Hill County Superintendent of Schools Shirley Isbell has been in charge of the spelling bee for the past 21 years. Isbell said she was impressed with the performance of individuals involved with the spelling bee.
“The judges were careful in making decisions, the pronouncer was careful to pronounce words, and (Rocky Boy High School Principal) Voyd St. Pierre did a good job as emcee,” she said. “It makes me feel good when people look at the spelling bee as being a part of the academic program.”
Isbell added that every year she chooses different people to conduct the spelling bee. This year the pronouncer was Gildford Colony teacher Rob Joynt, and the judges were North Star sixth-grade teacher Bill Mulvaney, Hill County Commissioner Mike Anderson and Hill County Justice of the Peace Terry Stoppa.
Mulvaney said he was proud that See was a top-three finisher.
“I was very excited that we had someone from our school who did so well. There were some tough words these kids had to spell,” he said. “I was getting nervous for the students.”
Each student received a certificate for participating in the spelling bee. The top-10 finishers were given water bottles as well. Dillon Demontiney, Megan Quintero, Alex Carey, Sabrina Robertson and Kelli Kelsey of Havre Middle School; Jordan Spicher of North Star; and Tisha Henderson of Box Elder all rounded out the top 10 at the spelling bee.