ATLANTA –– They came from all corners of state; from Chattooga County and Gainesville City to Bulloch and Irwin Counties and points in between -- 20 spellers ranging from 10 to14 - years-old, all with the same goal in mind – becoming Georgia’s next spelling champion.
After 156 words over 16 rounds, 13-year-old Kyu-Carlo Alegre from Carrollton Junior High in Carrollton City emerged as the winner of the 57th Annual Georgia Association of Educators State Spelling Bee. He will now represent Georgia in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championships in National Harbor, Maryland, May 28 - June 3, 2017.
In the 11th round Kyo-Carlo spelled "stramineous" correctly and became the first of two semi-finalists. Kyu-Carlo waited until Owen Steele from Muscogee and Griffin Lee from Glynn battled it out to determine the second semi-finalist. They went through 3 rounds before Owen spelled "scalare" correctly and faced Kyu-Carlo for the championship.
Kyu-Carlo and Owen battled through 2 rounds until Owen missed the word "clavecin" and Kyu-Carlo spelled both "hyaloid" and "agrypnia" correctly to become Georgia's 2018 spelling champion.
Kyu-Carlo said it was a great feeling to win the championship. "This shows that hard work pays off," he said. "I'm very excited and I'm greatly anticipating the trip to D.C." Kyu-Carlo said he'll be preparing for nationals the same way by studying hard. He also said he's been in touch with some national winners to get tips.
“We once again have witnessed our young people in competition at its best. While many may be disappointed, I would tell them to hold their heads high and be proud of what they accomplished to make it to the state championships,” said GAE.
President Dr. Sid Chapman. "Simply by being here, they are all champions. Everyone involved in their journeys should be very, very proud. Congratulations to all of these great young people who impressively represented their respective schools and communities. And now we wish the best of luck to Kyu-Carlo and his/her family as they travel to Maryland and the national championship.”
In addition to his first place trophy and an all expense paid trip to the national championship and $1,000 (GAE), Kyu-Carlo also received an iPad Pro and a $50 VISA gift card (Horace Mann Insurance Companies), $50 cash (Best Buy of Cumming, GA), a one-year online subscription (Encyclopedia Britannica Premium), one $100 U.S. Savings Bond (Samuel L. Sugarman Award) and a GAE Bee Champion lapel pin. Owen, as runner-up, took home a second place trophy and $500 (GAE), and also received an iPad Pro along with a $25 VISA gift card (Horace Mann Insurance Companies) and the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary-11th Edition (Merriam-Webster). In addition, all contestants received a GAE State Bee lapel pin and participation certificate.
You can continue to follow our champion through the Scripps National Championship at #GAEBee18.