The One to Count On...

Kalona Elementary Student Wins State Fair Spelling Bee

Posted: Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 at 6:28 am
Author: Joe Cerwinske

The annual Iowa Youth Spelling Bee competition was held recently at the State Fair, and students from Kalona Elementary took the top two spots at the 1st and 2nd grade levels. Second grade teacher Kerri Bell said her former students Hannah Rodgers and Olivia Schlabach worked their way though several rounds, always finishing first and second. At the end of the competition, Rodgers was victorious, with Schlabach finishing second. Bell was part of the large crowd in attendance, and she was proud of her students as she watched them emerge from a pool of 48 competitors in their age group.

One of the reasons Bell felt they did so well is because both girls are members of the Kalona Elementary Spelling Club, led by parent volunteer Trent Yoder. Previously, only 4th and 5th grade students were allowed in the club, but Bell said Rodgers and Schlabach were exceeding their grade level in spelling and asked if they could join. The club prepares students for spelling bees by simulating the environment of the competition, in addition to helping them practice words. There were eight students from Kalona Elementary that competed in three different age groups at the spelling bee. In addition to Rodgers winning the 1st and 2nd grade levels, Alivia Poock won the competition for the 4th and 5th grade levels.