Kenton Farwell is top speller
Sabetha Middle School seventh-grade student Kenton Farwell claimed the top spot in the 2021 PTO Spelling Bee held Friday, Jan. 8. Farwell competed against 20 other spellers in grades fifth through eighth.
In a different twist than previous years, the competition began orally as usual, but then when spellers were narrowed to six in the sixth round, a written competition determined placing. Only five spellers could advance to the Nemaha County Spelling Bee, so one speller also was eliminated with this written competition.
After the sixth round, the remaining six spellers — Farwell, Hadden Bachelor, Logan Ploeger, Charlie Lukert, Laura Metzger and Revé Nonnast — then began Round 7 with a written competition of 10 words. This written competition determined the first four places — Farwell, Nonnast, Lukert and Ploeger, respectively. The spellers were placed based on the number of words they had correctly spelled. Bachelor and Metzger tied, thus sending them into an eighth round with a 10-word written competition. They tied a second time, thus sending them into the ninth and final round with just six words. Metzger came out the victor, securing fifth place and advancing to the county bee.
PTO Coordinator Sheri Edelman said the format of this year’s spelling bee was altered in order to prepare the spellers for the Nemaha County Spelling Bee, which will a 40-word written format this year.
“Overall the format went fine,” Edelman said. “It was not perfect, though. There are many decisions that have to be made quickly amongst the judges and myself. We are imperfect people trying to make perfect decisions. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we make mistakes. We try very hard to do what is right. My wish is that everyone can walk away peaceful and happy to have learned something new.”
Judges for this year’s spelling bee were Leslie Scoby, Virginia Sylvester and Von Lauer. Pronouncer was Sandy Aberle.
Though Farwell has competed in the PTO Spelling Bee every year since fifth grade, this will be his first visit to the County Bee.
“I didn’t study for the PTO Spelling Bee at all,” Farwell said. “I plan to study a lot for the County Spelling Bee.”
Farwell did not name any specific words as difficult for him.
“I would have to say that the most difficult words were the ones that I had never heard before,” he said.
Farwell said he appreciates those who hosted the PTO Spelling Bee.
“I would like to thank the PTO, judges and pronouncer for putting on the spelling bee, and I look forward to representing the Sabetha Bluejays at the County Spelling Bee,” he said.
Nemaha County Bee
The top five spellers will compete at the Nemaha County Spelling Bee at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Nemaha County Courthouse in Seneca. This will be a written competition.
Classroom winners qualifying for this year’s PTO Spelling Bee were:
Eighth grade: Erin Boltz, Laura Metzger, Revé Nonnast, Brody Deters and Aubrey Schmelzle. Alternate was Roman Scoby.
Seventh grade: Naomi Pearson, Ava Payne, Dean Williams, Kenton Farwell and Charlie Lukert. Alternates were Isabelle Scoby and Korbyn Stinnett.
Sixth grade: Micah Lang, Jayce Rebant, Logan Ploeger, Isaac Schmid and James Sallman. Alternate was Josiah Richardson.
Fifth grade: Reed Toedman, Hadden Bachelor, Taylor Wiltz, Constance Shasteen, Addyson Farwell and Christian Scott. Alternates were Anvay Bhatteja, John Sunnenberg and Kyson Wertenberger.
Top classroom spellers for kindergarten through fourth grade were:
Fourth grade: Easton Renyer, Hadlee Schuette and Sutton Davis;
Third grade: Jake Menold, Eli Rebant and Olivia Sharrai;
Second grade: Hadden Strahm, Camryn Gudenkauf, Lydia Hartter and Emma Wikle;
First grade: Elizabeth Edwards, Landry Smith and Colby Renyer;
Kindergarten: Lily Mann, Max Wedel, Alton Hartter and Gib Yoder.