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Seventh-grader will join others at district spelling bee
Jefferson Middle School seventh-grader Daniel Kimmel will represent the Jefferson City School System at the district three spelling bee. - photo by Brandee Thomas

JEFFERSON — Daniel Kimmel has made it to the big show.

No, he isn’t joining a Major League Baseball team. The big show for him is the district three spelling bee.

"I always make it to the (school system) spelling bee, but I never made it to the district spelling bee," said Kimmel, a seventh-grade student at Jefferson Middle School.

Kimmel clinched the title of Jefferson City School System spelling bee champion when he correctly spelled "tahini," a paste used in cooking that is made from olive oil and sesame seeds.

He out-spelled 30 other fourth- through eighth-grade students who had won grade-level bees at other Jefferson schools.

"There were some words that I was very happy that I didn’t have to spell, like ‘soliloquy,’" he said. "I would have definitely gotten that one wrong."

Kimmel, a straight-A student, said he used the same dedication he gives to his everyday schoolwork to prepare for the competition.

"Every day before the competition I would go over word lists from previous spelling bees," Kimmel said. "I would also read the tips for spelling words from each of the languages (of origin)."

Being an above-average speller is something that Kimmel says runs in his family.

"I get my spelling (skills from my mom) and my handwriting from my dad," he said. "And my (maternal) grandmother also won spelling bees when she was in school."

Kimmel is an avid reader and also very active in his church’s youth group. He also is on the school’s football and golf teams.

"(Kimmel) is a very well-rounded student," said Brandy Corbett, Jefferson Middle School assistant principal. "He’s kind, well-spoken and considerate of others. He’s really one of our best students and we’re very proud of him."

The event will be held at 10 a.m. Feb. 28 at the Collins Hill High School Theater in Suwanee.

The district bee also will include students representing Jackson County, Hall County and Gainesville school systems.

Sixth-grader Hannah Rodriguez will represent Jackson. Sixth-grader Parker Ramey and eighth-grader Misty Hopwood will represent Hall. Sixth-grader Jhaiquashia Peterson will represent Gainesville.