Woodstock Middle School seventh-grader Lydia Lord correctly spelled “endocrinologist” and then “incorrigible” to win the 2018 Cherokee County School District Spelling Bee Thursday night at Cherokee High School.

Thirty-one Cherokee County students put their spelling skills to the test in the Georgia Association of Educators and Cherokee County Association of Educators’ annual competition, which went a record 47 rounds over three hours before a winner was decided. Braden Flournoy, a seventh-grader at Freedom MS, won second place, and Sharon Pradeep, a student in sixth grade at Mill Creek MS, came in third.

It was a repeat performance for all three students, as Sharon, Braden and Lydia made up the three finalists in 2017, with Sharon in first last year, Braden in second, and Lydia in third. All three students will compete in the GAE Region Spelling Bee on February 24 in Cobb County.

Each elementary and middle school sent its school-level winner to the CCSD Spelling Bee in hopes of taking home the title and a chance to advance to the region competition. Students in grades 4-8 are eligible for the Bee.

More than 200 words were attempted during the event Thursday night, including tricky terms like “apparatchik,” “coati,” “prevaricate,” “desideratum” and “uncoquettish.” The three finalists went through 15 rounds of words together, and Braden and Lydia battled another 19 rounds before the competition was decided. All three finalists could be back for a third year in 2019, as they will all be eligible to spell again!

The event is sponsored each year by Cherokee County Association of Educators and the Georgia Association of Educators. Peta Murray is the GAE Spelling Bee Coordinator; John Carter and Ervina Armstrong served as callers of the words; Judges were Susan Newman, Ana Pettit and Frankie Shepherd. Kathryn Smithyman and Riva Newton were spotters (assisting speller advocates in the event of a question).

A video about the Bee is posted here on our YouTube channel, and photos of each school winner at the Bee are posted on our Facebook page.