Winkler wins spelling bee with wikiwiki
“Wikiwiki” is derived from an Hawaiian word and means quickly – a fitting championship word indeed for the whirlwind 2016 Stillwater County Spelling Bee held March 3 in the Columbus High School cafeteria.
After Stillwater County Superintendent of Schools Judy Martin welcomed the standing-room-only crowd to the event, just four rounds passed before Columbus Middle School sixth-grader Maxine Winkler stepped up to correctly spell the fifth-round word that earned quiet chuckles from the crowd – “wikiwiki.” Winkler will represent Stillwater County in the State Spelling Bee on March 19 in Billings.
Second-place speller Sean Culbertson, a fifth-grader also from Columbus, correctly spelled just one fewer word than Winkler – “miso” kept Sean from advancing. He earned a plaque and alternate-speller status for his efforts.
Other spellers from the county competing in this year’s event included Absarokee’s Ray LaMoure, Carlos Pagan, Ashton Campbell, Colton Young, Hannes Chandler and Leo Nelson.
In addition to Winkler and Culbertson, Columbus was represented by Abby Teeters, Kylie Larson, Kelsey Westervelt, Jeremy Hollar, Megan Smith, Trista Teeters, Savannah McDonald and Reece Hogstad.
Park City was represented by Chase Fenton, Mason Rathbun, Kendyll Story and Ty Lowery.
Rapelje’s Justice Albers and Carlee Blodgett along with Reed Point’s Loli Jarrett and Kassidee Humphreys rounded out the spellers.
Judges for this year’s event were Columbus Elementary School principal Marlene Deis and Columbus Middle School teacher Danen Johannes. Pronouncer was Columbus Middle School teacher Lorrie Henrie-Koski.