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Spellbound students ready for bees
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Students across the state are studying word lists as they prepare for the Great Bend Tribune’s Sunflower Spelling Bee on March 12. But in order to compete in that regional qualifier for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, student must first win county championships. Barton County students will get that chance this Saturday, said Paul Snapp, with the Great Bend Noon Kiwanis.

The Kiwanis will host the Donald H Humphreys Barton County Spelling Bee at 10 a.m. Feb. 12 in the Great Bend Middle School gymnasium. The bee is named in memory of long-time member Humphreys, who was chairman of the spelling bee for many years.

This year six school champions or runners-up from previous county bees will return, Snapp said, including the 2010 Barton County champion, Janae Ryan from Claflin Elementary School, and the 2009 champion, Allison Regehr from Jefferson Elementary in Great Bend.

This year’s champion and runner-up will qualify for the Great Bend Tribune’s Sunflower Spelling Bee.

NR Weber will be the pronouncer on Saturday. Dr. David Hart, Judy Fox and Jean Cavanaugh will be judges, and other volunteers will be helping as well. "It takes several people to make all that happen," Snapp said of the annual bee.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion, administered on a not-for-profit basis by the E.W. Scripps Company and local spelling bee sponsors in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe; also, the Bahamas, Canada, Ghana, Jamaica, Liberia, New Zealand and South Korea.

Its purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.