The Genoa Lions invited the 12 finalists in the district spelling bee to dinner Jan. 15 at the Masonic Temple in Genoa. Three students from fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades were successful in their class spelling bees and ready to spell their way to the regional competition at Kishwaukee College in Malta.
The winner of this year’s Genoa-Kingston Spelling Bee was Naomi Dutton, a fifth-grader at Genoa Elementary School. The second-place winner was Alex Barton, a sixth-grader at Genoa-Kingston Middle School. The final spelling rounds between these two competitors lasted at least 15 minutes, with Alex stumbling on the word “sumptuous.” Naomi spelled this word correctly and the final word, and first place was hers.
Dinner was hosted by Lion President Jeff Baker and the Genoa Lions Club, which provided trophies for the winner and runner-up. McDonalds gift cards, half of which were donated by the Genoa McDonalds, were given to each participant at the end of the evening. Superintendent Joe Burgess congratulated the spellers and their parents. Principals John Francis and Angelo Lekkas congratulated the students on their success so far, and Lekkas acted as the moderator. Kari White organized the spelling bee.
Fifth-grade participants were Samantha Busse, Brianna Keegan and Naomi Dutton. Sixth-grade participants were Joely Overstreet, Lucas Beeman and Alex Barton. Seventh-grade spellers were Michael Kettner, Gina Scaccianoce and Zion Demore. Eighth-grade spellers were Abby Busching, Halle Brynteson and Taryn Sarto.