Denison ISD top spellers advance to Grayson County Bee

After 30 rounds of competition and 227 extremely difficult words, two Denison ISD ace spellers walked away winners in the district’s annual spelling bees.

B. McDaniel Intermediate School’s Phoebe O’Brien bested 16 competitive spellers by correctly spelling the word “withers” in the 9th round of competition. Zach Woodress, Scott Middle School’s winner, defeated 19 competitors by correctly spelling the word “professional” in the 21st round. First Runner-Up spellers were Trip Estes for B. McDaniel and Emma McConnell for SMS.

According to DISD Curriculum Coordinator Renee Burroughs, O’Brien had to correctly spell 66 competition words before becoming the B. Mac champion. Woodress had to correctly spell 161 competition words to become the Scott Middle School champion. Both spelling bees were hosted in a packed DISD Board Room with standing room only.

“Everyone looks forward to our annual spelling bees,” said Shonda Cannon, DISD Director of Instruction. “As always, it was wonderful to see all the support and enthusiasm from our students’ families and friends.”

O’Brien and Woodress will both compete for DISD at the Grayson County Spelling Bee slated for February 4 at 1:00pm. at the Grayson County Van Alstyne Campus. Estes and McConnell will attend the county bee as alternate representatives for DISD.

“I was most impressed with the level of competitiveness in both Spelling Bees,” said Cannon. “This is indicative of excellent preparation and focus. I know that students put in countless hours studying the word lists, and their hard work was certainly on display! I would also like to knowledge the efforts of Chris McClenny and Threasa Hallford who help coordinate the spelling programs at SMS and B. McDaniel respectively. We are proud of everyone who competed, and we wish our winners all the best as they prepare to compete at the County Bee on February 4.”

Zach Woodress (right), winner of DISD’s Scott Middle School Spelling Bee, will compete at the Grayson County Spelling Bee on February 4th at the Grayson College Van Alstyne campus. Pictured with Woodress are Dr. David Kirkbride, DISD Assistant Superintendent, and First Runner-Up Emma McConnell.

Phoebe O’Brien (left), winner of the B. McDaniel Intermediate School Spelling Bee, will compete at the Grayson County Spelling Bee on February 4th at the Grayson College Van Alstyne campus. Pictured with O’Brien are DISD Assistant Superintendent Dr. David Kirkbride and First Runner-Up Trip Estes.

A total of 19 students competed in Denison ISD’s Scott Middle School Spelling Bee. Zach Woodress correctly spelled the word “professional” to win the bee and advance to the County competition on February 4th.

Sixteen students from B. McDaniel Intermediate School competed in the school’s 2020 Spelling Bee. The winner, Phoebe O’Brien, correctly spelled the word “withers” to advance to the County competition on February 4th.

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