Hickory Creek fifth-grader Luke Payne spelled his way to first place in the Warren County Spelling Bee on Tuesday night at Centertown School.
Thirty of the brightest students from each elementary and middle school in the county competed for the grand prize trophy. The event was sponsored by the Southern Standard, which provided a trophy for the overall winner, as well as trophies for those who got first place in their grade level.
After his victory, Luke admitted he was nervous about his preparation.
“I didn’t think I had studied long enough,” he said. “I only studied for one to two hours a day.”
Luke is 11 years old and says English Language Arts is his favorite subject. He is the son of Nada and Darin Payne and has three younger siblings. After his big win, the family went to celebrate with ice cream.
Asked how he felt about the victory, Luke said, “It feels awesome.”
After a preliminary round, where grades 4-8 competed against those in their own grade, the winners from each advanced to the final round. Words such as “jaquerie,” “exordium,” and “proboscis” were navigated by the five finalists who all gave valiant efforts.
The words were administered by the event organizers, Kim Curtis and Lorie Kesey, who are both teachers at Centertown. The winning word was “widespread,” which Luke spelled flawlessly.
The Southern Standard is proud to sponsor the event which highlights and rewards the intelligence of our youth in Warren County.