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Top spellers in Scotts Bluff County to be at BMS Feb. 11

February 5, 2017 GMT

Over 100 students will be participating in the Scotts Bluff County Spelling Bee on Feb. 11.

The contest is being held at Bluffs Middle School and the public showdown will start at 10 a.m.

The location of the event usually goes back and forth between Bluffs Middle School and Gering Junior High School.

Students in fifth to eighth-grade will participate in the spelling bee.

Students that participate come from Mitchell, Minatare, Scottsbluff and Gering Public Schools as well as Community Christian School and St. Agnes School.

Rebecca Shields, Scotts Bluff County Bee coordinator, said the competition has been happening for a long time and she remembers doing it in grade school.

Shields took over when Janet Gardner, the former coordinator, was retired. Shields stepped up to do it.

Shields said spelling was one of her more favorite topics and she always enjoyed the competition of the event.

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She never won the competition but can remember being a runner-up.

Each of the schools in Scotts Bluff County can sign up for the Scripps Spelling Bee. The Star-Herald and the Gering Courier sponsor the spelling bee and pay for a portion of the school’s fees to send students.

Shields said the students that compete love it. Two years ago, a student that advanced to state competition received second place.

“One mom last year talked to me about how excited her son was about getting a trophy because he never received one,” said Shields.

New this year is a live stream of the final oral showdown with seventh and eighth graders.

“Everything is on T.V. now anyways. It’s good for grandmas or grandpas who can’t get out or relatives who are far away,” Shields said.

The live stream is provided by Vistabeam, a local internet provider. To watch the livestream, people have to go to the their Facebook page and like it in order to watch the seventh and eighth-grade oral showdown.

Fifth and sixth graders have an oral showdown in classrooms at Bluffs Middle School. Trophies are presented to students who receive first, second, and third place.

The seventh and eighth graders have a written spelldown first. The top 12 spellers will advance to the oral showdown.

Students receive a practice round to calm their nerves first.

Shields said it is somewhat tough to find the right time to hold the spelling bee since there is always something going on.

Shields said there are a lot of volunteers that help with the event. Many of them are in their 70s and 80s and are former teachers. Shields said to help out with the event or to be a judge give her a call at 308-641-4018.

Shields also invites everyone in the community to come support all of the participating scholars.