DISD top spellers advance to Grayson County Bee

Denison ISD’s annual District Spelling Bee looked a little different this year with no audience, masked participants and socially distanced competitors, but the traditions in excellence remained strong as two talented spellers took top honors and qualified to compete at the Grayson County Spelling Bee in February.

Scott Middle School’s Austin Crawley emerged victorious after 18 grueling rounds, correctly spelling the word “chickpea” in the final round, followed immediately by the correct spelling of “meanwhile” to secure the victory. Venuki Gamage was SMS’s First Runner-Up.

Vivian Marquez was crowned B. McDaniel Intermediate School’s winner over 16 fellow competitors by correctly spelling the word “featherbrained” in the final round of competition. She then spelled “pillage” to seal the championship. Sophie Carbajal was B. McDaniel’s first runner-Up.

Both spelling bees, hosted on Thursday, January 7th and Friday January 8th in the Denison ISD Board Room, were live-streamed via YouTube, enabling families and friends to view the competition from start to finish.

“Everyone looks forward to our spelling bees, so we had to be a little more creative in our planning and organization this year, giving careful consideration to Covid safety protocols,” said Shonda Cannon, DISD Director of Instruction. “Thanks to DISD’s Technology team, Curriculum Department and Brian Eaves, we were able to livestream the events via YouTube, making it possible for all our students’ families, friends and school supporters to view the competitions.”

Crawley and Marquez will both compete at the Grayson County Spelling Bee, which is expected to take place at Grayson College during the first part of February. Gamage and Carbajal will attend the Grayson County Spelling Bee as alternate representatives for DISD.

“I was so very impressed with the high levels of talent, sportsmanship and competitiveness exhibited by all our students who participated in both spelling bees,” said Cannon. “The preparation and focus required to compete and win at this level reflects great maturity as well a tremendous work ethic on the part of these students. I know that they devoted many hours to studying the word lists, and their hard work was certainly reflected in their performances. We are extremely proud of everyone who competed, and we wish our winners all the best as they prepare to compete at the County Bee in February.”



B. McDaniel Intermediate School’s Vivian Marquez (left) won her school’s 2021 Spelling Bee by correctly spelling “featherbrained” and “pillage”. The win qualified her to compete at the upcoming Grayson County Spelling Bee in February. Sophie Carbajal took First Runner-Up honors.



Sixteen competitors vied for top honors during B. McDaniel Intermediate School’s recent 2021 Spelling Bee. “Thanks to DISD’s Technology team, Curriculum Department and Brian Eaves, we were able to livestream the events via YouTube, making it possible for all our students’ families, friends and school supporters to view the competitions,” said Shonda Cannon, DISD’s Director of Instruction and organizer of the district’s annual spelling bee.



Scott Middle School’s Austin Crawley (left) won First Place in Denison ISD’s recent 2021 Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the words “chickpea” followed by “meanwhile”, qualifying him to compete at the Grayson County Spelling Bee in February. Venuki Gamage was First Runner-Up.



Nineteen spellers recently competed for First Place honors in Scott Middle School’s 2021 Spelling Bee competition. “We are extremely proud of everyone who competed, and we wish our winners all the best as they prepare to compete at the Grayson County Spelling Bee in February,” said DISD Director of Instruction and event organizer Shonda Cannon.

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