Sydney Robinson, a sixth-grader at West End Elementary correctly spelled insignificant to win. Other words she spelled correctly included pralines, dwarf, oxidation and mayonnaise.
With insignificant, I had to take it one letter at a time and break it down, said Sydney, who heads to the district competitions Feb. 23. I was surprised with oxidation which I wasnt familiar with at all and I had to decide between letters which one it was.
The only word that tripped Sydney up was sousaphone (a marching band tuba), which also stumped runner-up Dallas Daniels, an eighth-grader at Rome Middle.
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This is my first year in the spelling bee, said Dallas. It was fun.
While Dallas said he relied on the sounds of words, Sydney spent a lot of time asking for definitions, uses in sentences and even word origins.
I studied words by their origin, and put them into categories under different languages, said Sydney who asked the origin of praline, which is a French word. French words are spelled certain ways and (origins) helped me a lot.
Buffi Murphy, principal at West End, was proud of Sydney, and was extra excited because this was the second year in a row a student from her school won the system spelling bee.
Were fortunate to have great students competing the last two years, she said. Sydney is a very high academic student who did a great job ... by being patient and going slowly.
The Feb. 23 district competitions will be at the Floyd County Board of Education.
Floyd County Schools will hold its systemwide spelling bee Friday at the central office starting at 9:30 p.m. That winner will also compete in district competition.