Whiting wins FISD bee with ‘scrutiny,’ ‘approachable’
For the second time, Jane Whiting is Frenship Independent School District’s top speller.
Whiting, a seventh-grader at Frenship Middle School, battled against students from the district’s six elementary schools and two other middle schools on Friday at Casey Administration Building. The spelling bee went 12 rounds.
Whiting’s win came after the seventh round, when fellow spellers Nicholas Branagan and Daniela Acosta both dropped to the words “perforate” and “residential,” respectively.
Whiting correctly spelled her seventh round word, “scrutiny,” and followed it up by correctly spelling “approachable.”
In Whiting’s eight words, she asked for a definition on at least four words, and usually spelled slowly and thoughtfully. When she got the word “lousy” in the fourth round, she laughed before spelling it. But for her final winning word, she seemed confident, and when she was pronounced the winner, she smiled.
However, the spelling bee was not over yet. Because Branagan and Acosta both misspelled words in the seventh round, neither could be named as second place and runner-up to Whiting.
“We have to have a winner and we need one runner-up,” Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Darryl Flusche announced to the audience of about fifty people.
Branagan and Acosta commenced a spell-off, with both missing the words in the eighth round, including “sporadic” and “pizzeria.”
In the 11th round, Acosta misspelled “gargoyle,” while Branagan correctly spelled “sasquatch” and “terrarium” to become the runner-up.
After the bee, Whiting said she wasn’t very nervous. That could be because she was also the champion speller as a fifth-grader at Bennett Elementary School in 2011. In that year, she won with the words “planetary” and “referee.”
Whiting said she plans to increase her study regiment for the upcoming regional spelling bee.
She said she most enjoys athletics at FMS, where she played volleyball and will soon start track season.
Whiting said she likes to read a lot of juvenile fiction, such as the “Harry Potter” and “Anne of Green Gables” series.
Whiting’s parents, April and Jason Whiting, were in the audience to see the spelling bee Friday morning.
April Whiting jokingly said it is possible that her daughter learned to love spelling because of her.
“My husband calls me the human spell check, so maybe she does get it from me,” April Whiting said with a laugh.
FMS Principal Jerry Jerabek said this is the first time FMS has had a student move on to the regional bee.
“I am very, very proud for Jane and her family,” Jerabek said.
Other spellers in the bee included Nicholas Branagan of Terra Vista Middle School, Rence Gaylon of Heritage Middle School, David Felton of Bennett Elementary School, Emma Keas of Crestview Elementary School, Macey Hair of North Ridge Elementary School, Aaron Pyle of Westwind Elementary School, Daniela Acosta of Willow Bend Elementary School and Marcos Urias of Oak Ridge Elementary School.
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