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For East Hall Middle student, state spelling bee is 'serious business'

Eighth-grader placed second in district contest

POSTED: March 7, 2008 5:01 a.m.
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Jonathan Casas

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GAINESVILLE — The runner-up in the Hall County spelling bee placed second at the district bee Saturday, earning the right to compete in the state spelling bee.

East Hall Middle School principal Kevin Bales sent an e-mail to faculty and staff Saturday congratulating eighth-grader Jonathan Casas on his performance at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee.

The state bee, sponsored by the Georgia Association of Educators, is set for 11 a.m. March 21 at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

The state winner advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May or June in Washington, D.C.

At the Jan. 28 county bee at West Hall Middle School in Oakwood, Casas stumbled on the word "nightingale." Eventual winner Parker Ramey, a fifth-grader at Jones Elementary School, spelled that word correctly, along with "aristocracy."

Casas and Ramey both advanced to the district bee.

Ramey, son of Jones Elementary principal Hank Ramey, finished 12 out of 28 contestants, said Hall school system Superintendent Will Schofield.

After the county bee, Casas vowed "to try my darnedest to do my best at district," adding that "Win or lose, doing my best is all that counts."

He ended up surviving 15 rounds, finally tripping on "innavigable."

A Gwinnett County middle school student, Kari Burden, ended up winning the competition.

Casas said he looks forward to competing at state.

"It’s an honor," he said. ""I will try my hardest. It’s time to step up to the plate and really try my best. It’s serious business now."



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