DELAND – Taylor Simnick combines old-fashioned and new techniques as she studies for the annual bee season. It paid off last week when she won the Piatt County Spelling Bee in DeLand-Weldon.
“I'm learning a lot for the spelling bees. What I do first is that I get lined sheets of paper and write each word over and over again. And my father got me an app that pronounces a word and then I have to type in the word to spell it so I can finally remember the words, ”said Simnick.
It was her fourth year in a row that she got out of the local Monticello school district, but the first time she got out of the statewide bee.
“It was really exciting to know that my hard work has paid off over the years. It feels good. And bringing home a win for Monticello was just a good feeling to make everyone happy, ”she said.
Simnick and runner-up Emma Dunn, a sixth grader from DeLand-Weldon, will now be promoted to regional spelling bees on March 13th at Richland Community College in Decatur.
The duo went back and forth for several laps before Simnick was ahead of the game with the correct spelling of "Calzone".
The Monticello Middle School student earlier had a chance to win but was stumbled upon the "arrondissement" that kept Dunn alive after missing a word.
Washington Elementary School principal Nancy Rosenbery, who runs the county's spelling bee, said this was a challenge for all spell checkers this year.
"This was the toughest spelling bee I've ever competed in," she said. "There were words in which we looked at each other and said," I don't know what that word is. "I give praise to the students because wow."
So what's Simnick's secret to spelling bees so well over the years?
"I'm just trying to relax and not think about it because it doesn't help to get nervous," said the eighth grader.
That kept her calm as her last word "calzone" almost tossed her for a loop.
"I thought there would be an extra" a "between the" l "and the" z ". It was confusing," said Simnick.
Simnick is the daughter of Kevin and Samantha Simnick from Monticello and has a brother who is in the ninth grade.
Spelling bee participants
Atwood-Hammond – Aya Jacot, Sophia Johnson, Cassidy Rohacs, Ruby Barton and Lindsay Rohacs
Bement – Emerson Larson, Emmalyn Ewers, Cassie Block, Shelby Senter, and Gabrielle Block
Cerro Gordo – Sabrina Sterling, Ramie Shaffer, Harley Boedecker, Samantha Sterling and Brenden Puckett
DeLand-Weldon-Abigail Hurley, Isaiah Knight, Emma Dunn, Dayton Weisman, Emma Westray
Monticello – Cecelia Anderson, Connor Andrew, Addison Dorjahn, Westin O & # 39; Linc, Taylor Simnick