COVINGTON - Newton County's top spellers will go head to head this week.
Eighteen Newton County elementary and middle school students will compete Friday morning in the Newton County School System Spelling Bee.
The competition will begin at 10 a.m. Friday at Eastside High School, located at 10245 Eagle Drive in Covington.
"The county spelling bee is always an exciting event for the students who come together to represent their schools," said Dr. Adria Griffin, director of Middle School Curriculum at NCSS, in a press release.
Since last semester, students have competed in classroom and school-level spelling bees; each elementary and middle school will send their top school spellers in grades four through eight to the county bee and the runners up as alternates in the event they cannot compete.
"We're proud of all our winners and alternates and encourage all students to continue to perfect this important skill," Griffin said. "The ability to spell correctly is an important skill for all people to possess; therefore, our teachers, at all grade levels, stress proper spelling."
Students will gather Friday and take turns spelling words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee Organization; contestants move forward to the next round by spelling their word correctly, as determined by a set of judges. When only two contestants are left in the competition, once one speller misspells a word, the other contestant must spell the same word correctly and also spell another word correctly to win the competition.
The winner of the county bee will receive a trophy and move on to compete in the district level spelling bee in late February.
Friday's spelling bee is open to the public, but NCSS officials request that small children not be brought in due to the possibility of distractions; also flash photography is prohibited until after the competition.
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: At a glance
2009 Newton County Spelling Bee Winners and Runners Up
School - Contestant - Alternate
East Newton Elementary - Milan Macek - Julia Garner
Fairview Elementary - Mallori Johnson - Justin Douglas
Ficquett Elementary - Tamera Lowe - Aria Scaggs
Heard-Mixon Elementary - Allison Simmons - Shelby Hallman
Livingston Elementary - Jacob Beazley - Jaida Brown
Mansfield Elementary - Katelyn Kennedy - Sawyer Glanton
Middle Ridge Elementary - Aniyah Laudat - Quenterious Mitchell
Oak Hill Elementary - Maiya Green - Addison Kirkus
Palmer Stone Elementary - Taji Steele - Ramon Betanzo
Porterdale Elementary - Natalea Lue-Fung - Jocelyn Wesley
Rocky Plains Elementary - Brianna Wilson - N/A
South Salem Elementary - Paul Banegura - Alaye Russell
West Newton Elementary - Monaye Pollard - Azari Parker
Clements Elementary - Aaron Jeffries - Bibi Rustamally
Cousins Middle - Jeremy Walton - Solange Lord
Indian Creek Middle - Cameron Boyd - Angel Wells
Veterans Memorial Middle - Gaby Collantes - Deandre Brown
Sharp Learning Center - Alexander Moore - Jeremy Williams
Source: Newton County School System