SALEM, Ore. — A student from Jackson County took home first place in the Oregon Statewide Spelling Championship this year.
Ford Moening competed in the "elementary" division, which encompasses spellers between the 1st and 5th grades, and took home the first place prize.
Moening wasn't the only winner from Jackson County — Stella Beard won first place in the "middle" division. Abigail Easton, also from Jackson County, took third place in the "high" division.
This year's 11th annual competition drew 56 of the best spellers from 27 Oregon counties to the Oregon State Fair. Instead of being an "oral bee" the Spelling Championship allows students to write down their answers and all participants in each division received the same words.
"Elementary school spellers were challenged by words such as 'appraisal' and 'symbolize' while middle school students were asked to spell 'hygienist' and the high schoolers tried their hand at words like 'repertoire,'" Oregon Spellers said in a statement.
All first, second, and third place Championship winners received monetary prizes, provided in part by the Oregon Association for Talented and Gifted.