• School winners compete for a chance to move on to regional spelling bee

    Eighth grader Rex Dover correctly spelled “eradicate” to win the Gaston County Schools Spelling Bee. 

    Dover emerged as the winner from a field of 38 elementary school and middle school students, who competed in the annual competition on February 1 at Ashbrook High School.  The runner-up was fifth grader Lawrence Martin of Pleasant Ridge Elementary School.  

    “I’m very ecstatic, and I am looking forward to competing in the regional bee against some of the best spellers in the Charlotte area,” said Dover.

    A two-time spelling bee champion, Dover prepares by studying the words, having someone call them out, and writing them down. 

    “James is also a big help,” smiled Dover, referring to his older brother who also won the countywide spelling bee.  “I learn from his experience as he competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee on two separate occasions.”

    In previous years, The Gaston Gazette hosted the event and paid the expense for the Gaston County winner to compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.; however, the newspaper ended its sponsorship this year.  Now, the Gaston County winner does not go directly to the national competition; instead, the student has to participate in and win the regional qualifier.

    Dover will compete in March at the Carolina Panthers Spelling Bee presented by Bank of America.  The top four finishers in the regional bee will receive invitations to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

    Here is a list of our school-level spelling bee winners for 2022-2023:

    • H.H. Beam Elementary, Bria Reep
    • W.B. Beam Intermediate, Annabella Little
    • Belmont Central Elementary, Aidan Wood
    • Belmont Middle, Rex Dover
    • W.A. Bess Elementary, Diego Valentin
    • Bessemer City Central Elementary, Cassidy Allen
    • Bessemer City Middle, Phillip Hildebrant
    • Brookside Elementary, Rachel Davidson
    • Carr Elementary, Kathryn Jefferies
    • Catawba Heights Elementary, Angel Kessey
    • Chapel Grove Elementary, Nathaniel Fagel
    • John Chavis Middle, Desma Chappell
    • Costner Elementary, Landon Martin
    • Cramerton Middle, Abram Comer
    • W.C. Friday Middle, Jacob McElveen
    • Gardner Park Elementary, Caroline Jones
    • Gaston Virtual Academy, Amin Patton
    • Grier Middle, Amaury Seale
    • Hawks Nest STEAM Academy, Kendall McCarty
    • Holbrook Middle, Zion Clark
    • Kiser Elementary, Rylee Bozardt
    • Lingerfeldt Elementary, Miya Degree Stokes
    • Lowell Elementary, Morgan Forrestier
    • McAdenville Elementary, Isabella Mezzina
    • Mount Holly Middle, Jacob Brown
    • New Hope Elementary, Corinne Sophia St. Romain
    • North Belmont Elementary, Giselle Gonzalez Cruz
    • Pinewood Elementary, Tyler Mushipe
    • Pleasant Ridge Elementary, Lawrence Martin
    • Rankin Elementary, Annabelle Rhames
    • Robinson Elementary, Tyler Aylsworth
    • Sadler Elementary, Jamari Pratt
    • Sherwood Elementary, Canaan Phillips
    • Southwest Middle, Kari Clay
    • Stanley Middle, Layla Oates
    • Tryon Elementary, Annabel Howell
    • Woodhill Elementary, Harmony Vann
    • York Chester Middle, Jay’lind Rivers

    Bryan Denton, principal of Hunter Huss High School, served as the pronouncer, reciting the words and providing information to the spellers.  The judges were Derrick Jackson, executive director of elementary education; Rebekkah Powers, chief accountability officer; John Stone, AIG (academically or intellectually gifted) curriculum specialist; and Deana Murphy, director of pre-kindergarten services.

    Click here for the spelling bee program.

    Click here for information about the Carolina Panthers Spelling Bee.

VIDEO: Gaston County Scohols Spelling Bee