Celandina, Zechiel, and Luttrell take tops in county spelling bee

More than 20 of Marshall County's best spellers gathered last Monday evening at the Culver Community High School for the 31st annual Marshall County Spelling Bee, which pits the top 5th through 8th grade spellers from Argos, Bremen, Culver, LaVille, Plymouth, and Walkerton, both public and private, against each other.

Charles Celandina, a 6th grader from St. Michael's Catholic School in Plymouth, took first place, followed by Riverside Intermediate (Plymouth) 6th grader Samantha Zechiel. Sarah Luttrell, grade 6, from Culver Elementary, came in third.

After several elimination rounds, contestants battled it out for six full rounds on the same two words. As the contest neared its conclusion, the word "macabre" proved Luttrell's undoing, while the word "enzyme" propelled Celandina to the top over Zechiel, after which he spelled "discernible" for the win.

All participants in the Pilot News-sponsored bee received a goody bag , with the top three winners receiving gift certificates to Wal-Mart, Culver beach passes, and Auto Park cups, t-shirts, and frisbees in addition.

Culver Elementary teacher Missy Trent was the emcee for the evening, and fellow CES teacher Valerie Cultice was the announcer. Judges were Culver Community teachers Todd Shafer and Julie Kitchell, with Tina Stacey acting as official recorder.