This year's annual Southwestern Middle School Spelling Bee was held on Jan. 12 in the high school auditorium and it was a nail-biter.
Judges MaryKay Cook, Amy Pearson and Caitlin Salter, and pronouncer Tim Becker were kept on their toes because competition was high and the words were challenging. It was a great honor for the students of the middle school to participate. This year there were 43 students from sixth, seventh, and eighth grades that competed against each other.
Lucas Peterson, Chase Johnson and Stuart Rinehart made it to the final three, jockeying back and forth with expert spelling. When it came to round nine, Lucas Peterson spelled the winning word and was declared champion. Chase Johnson and Stuart Rinehart were tied for second so they competed in a spell-off, where Stuart was given the second-place title. Chase Johnson has the title of eighth-grade level winner.