Jayhawk spellers take top honors at spelling bee


Top Linn County spellers, from left, Tyrus Chadwick, Tanner Holt and Alayna McCarty received medals for their spelling prowess. Tyrus won the spelling bee on Thursday, with Tanner finishing second and Alayna third. Below, Tyrus looks to the moderator to see if he spelled "quatrain" correctly. He did. (Roger Sims, Linn County Journal)


LA CYGNE – Jayhawk Elementary and Junior High school students finished first, second and third on Thursday, Feb. 10, at the Linn County Spelling Bee.


Tyrus Chadwick, a fifth-grader at Jayhawk Elementary, won the contest against 20 other finalists from elementary and middle grades from across the county. The 21 contestants advanced to the countywide spell off by placing in the top three spellers at each school.

Tyrus spelled “quatrain” correctly to win over second-place finisher Tanner Holt, a seventh-grader at Jayhawk Junior High. Alayna McCarty, a sixth-grader from Jayhawk Elementary placed third in a final round spell-off

Although Tyrus said he wasn’t sure how he was able to out-spell the other contestants, his mother Heather Chadwick said he had been studying the list of words that were sent out to contestants. Todd Chadwick, Tyrus’ father, said his son had been improving his spelling skills each year for the contests.


Tyrus will go on to compete in the Sunflower State Spelling Bee on March 26 at Newman University in Wichita.


Other contestants from across the county included:

  • Jayhawk Elementary: Rachael Felix, sixth grade

  • Jayhawk Junior High: Brady Felt and Aubreigh Summers, both seventh-graders

  • La Cygne Elementary: Sebastian Boudreaux, third grade; and Cora Friend and J.W. Philpott, both sixth-graders

  • Parker Elementary: Hayden Burbank, fourth grade; Tim Nickell, sixth grade; and Blake Stevenson, fifth grade

  • Pleasanton Elementary: Chloe Carver, fourth grade; Jillian Greene, sixth grade; and Lexi Lovell, fifth grade

  • Pleasanton Junior High: Erin Bowley, eighth grade; Jordyn Julian, seventh grade; and Katrina Taylor, eighth grade

  • Prairie View Middle School: Kadence Blevins, sixth grade; Shawna Case, sixth grade; and Bendan Melvin, eighth grade


Parker Elementary Principal Mark Staab was moderator for the event, and Prairie View district staff members Julie Pope, Beth Sandness, and Carissa Uphoff were judges. Prairie View USD 362 hosted the even at the Performing Arts Center.

Twenty-one spellers from across the county participated in this year's Linn County Spelling Bee.

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