The third time was the charm for Indian Creek Middle School student Jet Rawls, winner of the 2015 Newton County School System Spelling Bee. Rawls, a sixth-grader, participated in the NCSS Spelling Bee as the East Newton Elementary School champion during his fourth and fifth grade years but just missed out on the top prize each time. This year, the super speller successfully spelled “ominous” and “disguise” to clinch the championship. Clements Middle School student Jayden Wheeler was this year’s runner up.
Spelling Bee winners from each elementary and middle school in the county competed in the competition, held at Newton High School. More than ten rounds passed before the pool was narrowed down to just Wheeler and Rawls. Wheeler faltered on the word “embarrass” and Rawls stepped forward and spelled the next two words correctly.
Rawls said the win was rewarding but didn’t come easy.
“It feels really good,” he said, “but it took a lot of work. When I woke up each morning I studied the school list and in the afternoon when I came home from school I studied the county list.”
Rawls also gave credit to his dad, Todd Rawls, and Aunt Nita, who helped him study by calling words out to him.
He said they also used Spelling City and spellingbee.com to help study words in preparation for the NCSS County Bee. Rawls intends to keep studying spelling words in preparation for the Regional Spelling Bee and will also include work on vocabulary as well.
Rawls said he was confident as soon as he heard the last word, “disguise” called.
“I knew I had won because I know how to spell it,” he said with a big smile.
Rawls will now represent NCSS in the Regional Spelling Bee in Putnam County on Saturday, February 28.