A Morrison Elementary seventh-grader spelled her way to success by winning the school’s spelling bee, guaranteeing her a spot in the Southern Appalachia Regional Spelling Bee in Knoxville.
Thursday morning’s spelling bee at Morrison Elementary included students from grades 4-8. Each grade level had a winner, and those winners competed against each other to receive the title of overall winner.
Abbi Johnson, 12, was the winner of the entire competition. Johnson is a Warren County local who has set great expectations for herself and her future. Her favorite subject in school is ELA, or English Language Arts. She hopes to attend Harvard University once graduating high school and become either a musician or English teacher.
“I’ve always been a high achiever ever since I was little,” says Johnson, “I’ve always set these very high goals for myself, and if I make them, I feel a great amount of accomplishment.”
Last year, Johnson won in her grade level but wasn’t able to snag the overall title. This year, she was determined to become the overall winner. A list of words is provided by the Scripps Spelling Bee association, and Johnson studied the list every day for a month.
“I was really nervous at first because I’ve been doing this since fourth grade and haven’t won, but I hoped this would be my year,” says Johnson. “I was very happy and proud of myself.”
Abbi won the final round by spelling “turbulent.” She then went on to become the overall winner with the word “escape.” Other words included “continental” and “insubstantial.”
“Abbi’s a hard worker. She’s studious and very sweet,” says Amanda Filzus, Johnson’s teacher. “She really practiced and studied hard for this win.”
The second place finisher of the Morrison Elementary Spelling Bee was fifth-grader Eli Davis, and the third place finisher was sixth-grader Aiden Bishop.
“The spelling bee is important for students to be recognized for their accomplishments and hard work,” says Tamra Pryor, the instructional coordinator for Morrison Elementary.