Edgewood Middle School sixth-grader Eleanor Stormer Burch recently won the Wayne County Spelling Bee, which took place on Jan. 30 at Wooster High School’s Performing Arts Center (PAC). Eleanor competed against 36 students from 23 schools in Wayne County to take home first place after spelling the winning word “Solfatara.”
Eleanor qualified for the county-wide spelling bee after competing against the top 20 spellers in the Edgewood Spelling Bee in December. The top three spellers from this contest moved on together to the Wayne County competition, including Edgewood students Hannes Wiebe, Ben Stavnezer and Eleanor.
According to Amanda Largent, who is the literacy coach and academic challenge coach for grades 5-8, Edgewood sent the most students of any school in Wayne County to the spelling bee—a number that was determined by the student population.
“I was very pleased to watch Eleanor win. I believe she was a deserving winner because in addition to being a strong speller and great student, she is humble and kind,” said Largent. “I hope she takes away self-confidence and pride in herself as a result of her hard work and positive attitude.”
To win the spelling bee, Eleanor had to spell eight words correctly. Any word from the Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary was able to be used in the contest.
“Her father, younger sister, Violet and I were all there to cheer her on, and we are so proud of her,” said Laura Burch, Eleanor’s mother. “We think the spelling bee is a great opportunity for her to learn about how much the English language has been shaped over time by languages from all over the world. Studying English words borrowed from other languages has taught the whole family new things about other cultures!”