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Nineteen Allen County Schools were represented at the 27th annual Allen County Spelling Bee on Saturday, February 27, 2016. The bee is hosted and sponsored by OSU-Lima, under the gracious organization of Dr. Roger Nimps, Assistant Dean & History Professor and the excellent pronouncing skills of Mike Miller, Morning News Radio Personality from 1150 WIMA News Talk Radio Station.

The champion speller was Alotus Wei, an 8th grade student from Shawnee Middle School. This is the third year Alotus has won the Allen County Spelling Bee. In addition, Alotus won last year's Lima News Regional Spelling Bee and went to Washington D.C. to compete in the National Bee. She has done that three years. Alotus won the bee in Round 12 with the word, "fractious." Her award included a $100.00 gift card, a trophy, and a certificate.

First Runner-up was Molly Killough an 8th grade student from Shawnee Middle School. Her elimination word was "velveteen" in Round 11. Her award included a $75.00 gift card, a trophy, and certificate.

An unusual circumstance occurred this year as Shawnee Middle School had two champions. Shawnee had conducted two spelling bees and both Alotus and Molly went through the entire word lists at both bees spelling correctly many extrenemly difficult words. It was then determined to allow them both to compete at the Allen County Spelling Bee, a first time event.

Second Runner-up was John Frueh, an 8th grade student from Elida Middle School. Jon's winning word was "camisole." His award included a $50.00 gift card, a trophy, and certificate.

All spellers received certificates and participant trophies.

Runners-up came to represent their schools in case their champion could not participate and received spelling bee certificates and spelling bee cupcakes. One runner-up, Jocelyn Morrisey, an 8th grader from St. Charles, did take part in the bee as the school's champion was unable to attend.

Participation in a spelling bee increases a student's vocabulary, spelling skills, learning concepts and helps to develop correct English usage. Scripp's Howard has a rich website full of lists of words along with appropriate challenges to help our young spellers develop these academic skills.  Vocabulary knowledge is foundational to all other academic content areas so it is a valuable skill to develop.

We are proud to know we have so many good spellers in Allen County!