Memorial Middle School seventh grader Jazz Duncan is headed to the Georgia Spelling Bee at Georgia State University on March 16 after winning the regional spelling crown at the Feb. 25 regional spelling bee held at Mundy's Mill Elementary School in Clayton County. Her mother Heather Duncan said this year's bee was more challenging, and Jazz faced words such as "saxicolus," "eucharistic," "mistassini," and "iodapsin." Jazz faced off against finalist Brittany Chopra, a seventh grader from Rex Mill Middle School in Clayton County, for 31 rounds out of 49 rounds total.
The word that did Chopra in was "ethylene," which Jazz Duncan dispatched and went on to correctly spell "repartee." This will be Duncan's second time heading to the state spelling bee.
Duncan said she's always nervous but just tries her best to stay focused on the task at hand. Sometimes it's just luck of the draw and exposure to words, she said. In 2011, she placed 4th at the state bee. Her older brother Jaire Duncan, whom she beat for the Rockdale County Spelling Bee title last year, went to the regional bee three times and state bee two times, where he placed ninth.