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Next word, please spell ... Tra·di·tion
Continuing a family tradition, Christian Garcia, 5th grade student from Riley Elementary, is joined by his sisters, Jacklyn (left) and Jazmin (right) who are also previous Barton County Spelling Bee Champions. The Garcia family has made spelling a family activity.

For one Great Bend family, excellence in spelling is a tradition. Following in the footsteps of his two older sisters, Christian Garcia claimed top honors at the Barton County Spelling Bee in February and advanced to the Sunflower State Spelling Bee held at Newman University on Saturday, March 25.

The competition involved 86 spellers from across the state and lasted 13 rounds. Garcia made it to the  fourth round and placed 37th.

Jazmin Garcia was the first sibling to win the Barton County Spelling Bee in 2014, followed by Jacklyn in 2019 and 2021. 

“Spelling is something we’ve practiced together,” said Jacklyn Garcia. “At home I took on the role of ‘pronouncer’ and would randomly select a word off the list and ask Christian to spell it. It’s really cool to see the names of all three of us on the spelling bee winner list.”

“It’s okay if you don’t win,” Jacklyn added, “going to the state bee, in itself, is a grand accomplishment.”

All the Garcia siblings attended Riley Elementary where Christian is now in the 5th-grade with his twin sister, Jennifer. Jacklyn is a Sophomore at GBHS, and Jazmin graduated from GBHS in 2020.

Tyler Nolte, from Nemaha County was named the 2023 Sunflower State Spelling Bee Champion and will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee this summer in Washington, D.C.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee states that the purpose of the bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

The Barton County Spelling Bee is organized by the Kiwanis Club of Great Bend. For more information, contact USD 428 at 620-793-1500.