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Porterdale fourth-grader wins 'different' Newton schools' spelling bee
Moves on to regional spelling bee later this month
Malachi Brock
Porterdale Elementary fourth-grader Malachi Brock shows his trophy for winning the recent Newton County School System Spelling Bee. - photo by Courtesy of the Newton County School System

Porterdale Elementary School fourth-grader Malachi Brock emerged victorious in Newton County School System’s 2021 District Spelling Bee. 

Brock edged out all of the NCSS elementary and middle school school-level champions to walk away with "Super Speller" bragging rights this year, a news release stated.

He will now represent Newton schools in the Regional Spelling Bee on Feb. 27.

“I love to read so I’m good at spelling,” Brock said after he accepted his winner’s trophy. “I read a lot of books and work on vocabulary.”

Clydia Newell, principal of Porterdale Elementary School, said, “I am so proud of Malachi and his performance in the county spelling bee."

"Malachi is a wonderful student. He is a voracious reader, and I am confident that his reading has contributed to his ability in spelling. I am excited that he will be representing Porterdale Elementary School and the Newton County School system in the regional spelling bee.”

Penny Moseley, director of Elementary Schools for Newton County Schools, said, “I am so impressed by Malachi’s performance in the district spelling bee.”

“To win the champion’s trophy as a fourth-grader is a remarkable accomplishment. I can’t wait to hear how he fares in the regional bee and look forward to him competing in our district bee for many years to come.”

Iyana Black of Live Oak Elementary School and Aiden Jarvis of South Salem Elementary School tied for second place in the District Spelling Bee. 

Helena Foster, Elementary Curriculum and Instruction Specialist for the school system, said this year’s spelling bee was different from previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year’s Bee was conducted using an online assessment platform created by Scripps,” Foster said. 

“Students were given 50 words to spell. The computer called the words for the students and they had to type the words correctly within 30 minutes. Students still had the option to ask for a definition and a sentence like they do in the traditional bee. 

"The students moving on to the regional bee will test in the same format. They will be given 30 minutes to spell 50 words and they will also have a multiple choice vocabulary test.”

Brock seemed unfazed by the prospect of competing in the regional bee. 

“I’m going to keep reading and working on my vocabulary,” he said. “I want to keep going all the way!”