2023 Ward County Spelling Bee decides who’s going to state

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 9:04 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) – Seventy-five kids from 12 school districts across Ward County competed for a chance to go to the state bee.

Your News Leader caught up with some of the competitors to find out who’s the top speller.

While the top two spellers advanced to the state bee, everyone who advanced to the county level was a winner, with some receiving medals around the necks or trophies.

The words started off simple, meant to ground the students.

The word topgallant took 5th grader Lucas Reinhold out of the competition.

“I hope next year I win and get some more trophies to look cool,” said Lucas.

Jodi Johnson, Ward County superintendent of schools, has been conducting spelling bees since 2004.

“The kids seem to get smarter every year,” said Johnson.

Imagine being your own spell checker in front of judges. The competition slowly dwindled.

When it came down to Miguel Montalvo and Milo Underwood, the two went back and forth trying for several rounds to be the first person to spell two words in a row — one letter at a time.

In the end, Milo, a seventh grader, took first place.

“I just tried really hard, and I was hoping I could beat him even though we’re from the same school,” said Milo.

And for those who didn’t win, there’s always a next year for these fifth to seventh graders.

First and second place qualified for the state spelling bee which will be held in Bismarck on March 20.