By LIBBY CLUETT
Mineral Wells ISD hosted the annual Area 21 Spelling Bee on Feb. 6, in which 41 students from seven county campuses competed to be the county's top speller.
Santo Junior High eighth-grader Ramsey Wells took the top place in 14 rounds of spelling action. Among her words, Wells spelled “taciturn,” “depilatory,” “miasma” and “stoic” correctly in the first few rounds. She won with the word “decoy.”
Runner-up honors went to Jessie Lyons, of Travis Elementary. Paige Pierson, also from Travis, took third place.
Wells will advance to regional competition on March 20 at the TCU Regional Spelling Bee, where she will shoulder the responsibility of representing Palo Pinto County. If she continues to spell well in Fort Worth, she could advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
Participating in the area bee were students from Gordon Elementary and Junior High, Santo Elementary and Junior High and Mineral Wells campuses: Houston Elementary, Travis Elementary and Mineral Wells Junior High. Each campus sent the top six spellers to participate.
Those students participating from each of the respective campuses were:
• Santo Elementary – Hannah Barron, Tobias Maxedon Gillespie, Josie Smith, Abi Taylor and Sydney Wade.
• Santo Jr. High – Jerin Barling, Brayden Hamilton, Mikaylee Steiner, Cooper VanRemmen and Wells.
• Gordon Elementary – Isa Mills, Bailey Moody, Cole Taylor, Ross Trigg, Taegin Witt and Tyler Wyatt.
• Gordon Jr. High – Seth Allen, Katie Henderson, Sierra Jackson, Madison Kline, Lexi Summerhill and Ashley Wyatt.
• Houston Elementary Mineral Wells – Katlyn Alton, Vivan Esparza, Keith McAtee, Jordan Mullen, Ryan Ogatis-Klien and Israel Flores.
• Travis Elementary Mineral Wells – Genesis Chavira, Alexa Creamer, Abigail Paredes, Ethan Waters, Lyons and Pierson.
• Mineral Wells Jr. High – Travis Acuff, Janel Almanza, Steven Auld, Lane Houston, Tyler Hubble and Kiarra Pruitt.
Pronouncer Carolyn Cooper and judges and scorekeepers Parisa Lerma, Riley Couger, Sylvia Hull and Linda Porter-Bradford carefully conducted each round, according to organizer Patrice Trickey.