Photo by Jeylin White
Students from Clayton County public schools took home trophies during Thursday’s county spelling bee. They are: Winner, Brittany Chopra; first runner-up, Ayodele Foster-McCroy; third-place finisher, Chizim Ogbonna; and fourth place-finisher, Khadija Usman.
Rex Mill Middle School seventh-grader, Brittany Chopra, almost lost the Clayton County Spelling Bee on Thursday in the final round, misspelling the word “scampi.” She spelled it “s-c-a-m-y.”
But, when her opponent, Kendrick Middle School eigth-grader Ayodele Foster-McCroy, slipped on her word, too, Chopra’s next word made her the county winner.
Foster-McCroy was the runner-up.
“It feels really, really good to be the spelling bee champion,” said Chopra, who was experiencing the championship for the second time. She won the county spelling bee when she was a fifth-grade student at Tara Elementary School.
That year, Chopra went on to the Georgia Association of Educators’ State Spelling Bee, and placed sixth out of 20 students from across the state.
Sid Chapman, president of the Clayton County Education Association, which runs the county’s spelling bee, said this year’s competition was stiff, as the contest went on longer than usual. So long, in fact, he added, that spelling bee officials ran out of words from the official list, and had to turn to a back-up list.
“These students were really good spellers, and the final four were excellent,” said Chapman. “But, they [ the students] are all winners.”
Chopra, Foster-McCroy, North Clayton Elementary fifth-grader, Khadija Usman (fourth-place finisher), and Jackson Elementary fifth-grader, Chizim Ogbonna (third-place finisher) will all advance to the District Five Spelling Bee, which will be held on Feb. 25, at 10 a.m., at Mundy's Mill Middle School
The school is located at 1251 Mundy's Mill Road, in Jonesboro.
Clayton County Public Schools Elementary Language Arts Coordinator Ebony Thomas said the Fifth District Regional Competition will include participants from schools in Carroll, Clayton, Coweta, Fayette, Griffin-Spalding, Haralson, Henry, Polk, and Rockdale counties, along with Bremen City and Carrollton City schools.
A confident Chopra said her goal, this year, is to win the state spelling bee. “I think I will be able to do it,” said the confident middle-schooler.