The county’s top spellers poured through the doors of the Ouachita Center on the Mena campus of UA Rich Mountain Tuesday, January 14, for the chance to earn the coveted Polk County Spelling Bee champion title. The event is co-sponsored by the DeQueen/Mena Educational Co-Op and Union Bank of Mena and hosted annually on the campus of UA Rich Mountain.
Each student began at their grade level and the first place winner then advanced to the next grade to compete.
This year’s top honors went to:
1st grade – 1st place: Rajesh Dandikar, 2nd place: Lilly Arender, 3rd place: Brody Ward
2nd grade – 1st place: Amelia Espinoza, 2nd place: Adelyn Barton, 3rd place: Channing Wimberly
3rd grade – 1st place: Drew Mabry, 2nd place: Amelia Espinoza, 3rd place: Lindsey Munoz
4th grade – 1st place: Auden Dong, 2nd place: Shooter Davis, 3rd place: Jaylie Brantley
5th grade – 1st place: Ryan Jiang, 2nd place: Adileni Herrera, 3rd place: Ayden Dong
6th grade – 1st place: Ryan Jiang, 2nd place: Brandon Dong, 3rd place: Lacy McEntire
7th grade – 1st place: Bradley Harwood, 2nd place: Yennette Tecson, 3rd place: Elijah Smith
8th grade – 1st place: Shantal Tecson, 2nd place: Kenzie Daniels, 3rd place: Jocelyn Biard
“We applaud the efforts of all of these students and the amount of time they have obviously committed to compete at this level. It’s always a privilege to have them on our campus and we appreciate all of the efforts from everyone at the Co-Op each year as well as the continued support of Union Bank to truly make this such a memorable event for these students,” said UA Rich Mountain Chancellor Dr. Phillip Wilson. Photos of the winners may be found on page 3A.