Thompson county’s top speller

Sue Kraft, Lifestyles Editor
Pictured are the winners of the Ramsey County Spelling Bee, left to right: Gerard Thompson, Alexa Gathman, Mattisyn Barendt, Alexandria Palmer and Abby Heilman.

Yesterday the county's best spellers gathered in the Memorial Building in Devils Lake — and Central Middle School student Gerard Thompson emerged as the champion.

Alexa Gathman was named the runner-up and third place winner was Mylasha Artis.

Thompson and Gathman will represent Ramsey County at the State Spelling Bee in Bismarck. Artis will serve as the alternate if one of the others is unable to attend.

In the fifth grade category, Mattisyn Barendt earned first place, Stephanie Johnson and Bailey Lang tied for second, and Noah Hendrickson took home the third place prize. All three students attend Central Middle School.

In the fourth grade, it was Alexandria Palmer of Sweetwater earning the top spot, followed by Cade Christopherson of Prairie View and Abbey Kitchens of St. Joseph Elementary.

Grade three champion was Abby Heilman of St. Joseph. Second place went to Haylee Linstad of Adams-Edmore and there was a tie for third place between DaNae Allery of Sweetwater and Maddison Wood of Prairie View.

The State Spelling Bee will be held March 26, with the winner advancing to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, May 23-29, 2010.

Approximately 101 county winners participate in the state competition. All contestants compete in a written round of 50 words, from which the finalists are chosen.

Shantanu Srivatsa, representing Cass County, was the 2009 State Champion.

The State Spelling Bee is sponsored by the N.D. Council on Educational Leaders, the N.D. Association of County Superintendents and the N.D. Newspaper Association. The Devils Lake Journal serves as one of the sponsors for the Ramsey County Spelling Bee.