Although spellers faced an additional hurdle this year – vocabulary as well as spelling questions – that didn’t stop Barksdale Elementary fifth grader Aeneas Moore, winner of the 2017 Rockdale County Spelling Bee, and Memorial Middle sixth grader Allanah Stanton, this year’s runner-up.
Spellers from each of Rockdale County Public Schools 11 elementary schools and four middle schools faced off on Friday, February 10, 2017 at Edwards Middle School.
Moore said all he could think about while he was up on stage was whether he would win or lose. To prepare for the spelling bee, Moore said simply, “First I had my mom test me on some of (the words), then I studied them, and then I got better.”
“It took a lot of practice,” added his mom, Ronda Moore. “We put a lot of hours into studying those words.”
Moore loves to build things; his family said that he could build models out of practically anything. He is also an avid Pokémon fan. As a reward for winning the 2017 Rockdale County Spelling Bee, Ronda Moore said she would get her son a $50 box of Pokémon cards he had been eyeing for months.
Vocabulary rounds were implemented this year at the suggestion of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), the organization that runs the state spelling bee, to better prepare state spellers for the national Scripps Spelling Bee. The national Bee began testing participants on vocabulary questions several years ago.
This year's participants (the winners of their respective school's spelling bee, pictured left to right with their randomly assigned order number) and their alternates (the runners-up at their school's spelling bee, not pictured) were:
Dasani Harper #1 (alternate Nisa Washington) - C.J. Hicks Elementary.
Allanah Stanton #2 (alternate Johnathan Albaugh) - Memorial Middle.
Aeneas Moore #3 (alternate Nathaniel Reynolds) - Barksdale Elementary.
Dylan Allen #4 - Flat Shoals Elementary.
Zindzhi Evans #5 (alternate Ja'Kiya Thomas) - Honey Creek Elementary.
Allison Jones #6 (alternate Josh Comeau) - Lorraine Elementary.
Jayden Bailey #7 (alternate Ayden Vaughn) - Shoal Creek Elementary.
Jorri Murray #9 (alternate Jorunee Lackey) - Sims Elementary.
Rose Adams #10 (alternate Amairany Underwood) - J.H. House Elementary.
Kristy Cooper #11 (alternate Cyras McMillian) - Conyers Middle.
Kameron Bolton #12 (alternate Kamylle Norman) - Pine Street Elementary.
Matthew Thacker #13 (alternate Gabriel Edmonson) - Edwards Middle.
Kendyl Nimmons #14 (alternate Jahmali Hudson) - Hightower Trail Elementary.
Anthony Troms #15 (alternate Paige Missick) - Peek's Chapel Elementary.
Pictured: The final three contestants before entering the championship round, seated left to right, Allanah Stanton of MMS, Aeneas Moore of BES, Kristy Cooper of CMS.
Pictured: 2017 Rockdale County Spelling Bee 1st place winner Aeneas Moore, a 5th grader at Barksdale Elementary, and 2nd place runner up Allanah Stanton, a 6th grader at Memorial Middle.
Pictured: 2017 Rockdale County Spelling Bee winner Aeneas Moore, right, and his mother Ronda Moore.
This year's pronouncer was the 2016-17 RCPS Teacher of the Year Kimberly Sanderson of Davis Middle School.
Thank you to our judges RCPS ELA Academic Coach Sherry Boudreaux, RCPS ELA Coordinator Dr. Erika Tucker, RCPPS Education Assessment Coordinator Ranyatta Roland and Spelling Bee organizers Audrey Champion and Mleeka Frank.
And thank you to our sponsors Olde Town Awards & Engraving, Publix, Target, BJ's, Greg Fort the Cupcake Guy.
Moore will go on to the GAE District 5 Spelling Bee on February 25 at Edwards Middle School. The State Spelling Bee will be held March 17 at Georgia State University. For more information on the GAE State Spelling Bee, go to http://gae.org/programs/gae-state-spelling-bee/