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It takes Courage to win a spelling bee
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It takes Courage to win a spelling bee


Special to The News


Sharp Learning Center seventh grader Courage Ogie earned top honors at the 2011 Newton County School System Spelling Bee.

Spelling Bee winners from each county elementary and middle school competed in the competition, held Friday at Eastside

High School. Liberty Middle School eighth-grader Breanna Harris was runner-up, according to a release from the school system.

Courage and Breanna misspelled two words to start the final round (according to Spelling Bee rules, a contestant must correctly spell his or her opponent’s misspelled word and then correctly spell their own word in order to win), but they rebounded and battled it out for multiple rounds before Breanna stumbled on the word, “conjecture.”

Courage correctly spelled “conjecture” and then won the bee with his correct

spelling of the word, “designate.”

“I was nervous throughout the whole thing,” said Courage, “but it

was very exciting.”

It wasn’t Courage’s first spelling bee: He had represented Ficquett Elementary School in fourth grade.

 “I didn’t really prepare for this one,” he said. “I was able to sound out words and spell them. It kind of comes naturally. Language Arts is a subject I really like because I love reading and spelling. I am going to study more words before I go to the next bee though. I missed a word that I had never heard before so I know I need to extend my vocabulary. I’m going to get a

list of spelling bee words and practice spelling with my friends, teachers, family...anyone who

will help me!”

Courage will represent the school district in the regional competition in Putnam County on Feb. 26.

Breanna was alternate competitor from Rocky Plains during fifth grade and competed in the county bee last

year as the champion from Veterans Memorial Middle School. Swas happy with her performance.

“I was very nervous but I wanted to be in the spelling bee and see just how far I could go with it,” she said. “I studied

words from the Scripps website every day after doing my homework.”