Eighth-grader crowned Warren County Spelling Bee champ

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Competitors in the 2022 Warren County Spelling Bee are joined by the moderator, judges, and school personnel Thursday on stage at Beaty-Warren Middle School.

It took 18 rounds and 109 words to crown Jordan Jacob of Eisenhower Middle School the winner of the 2022 Warren County Spelling Bee.

A total of 15 competitors took center stage at Beaty-Warren Middle School on Thursday. They approached the microphone one after another to test their wits, and their training, against a tricky list of spelling words.

There were knockouts in nearly every round, including the first — on trickster and eyesore — through the 11th.

Students were sent from the stage to seats in the auditorium one at a time on alibi, surrounded, conkers, dingoes, novice, wreaked, renowned, trodden, lineage, motley, and permanence.

The final two competitors, Jacob and Beaty eighth-grader Drake Lawson, breezed through six more rounds, correctly spelling words like abdomen, demeanor, referral, and aerials, before Lawson was tripped up by prioress – “a woman who is the head of a house of a particular order of nuns.”

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Jordan Jacob, an eighth-grader at Eisenhower Middle School, won the 2022 Warren County Spelling Bee Thursday at Beaty-Warren Middle School, besting 14 students who had come out at the tops of their schools’ bees. Jacob will represent the county at the Western Pennsylvania Spelling Bee in March.

Jordan had correctly spelled Darwinism in the 17th round and had to correctly spell a word in round 18 to wrap up the championship. She did. The word was brocade — “a rich fabric woven with a raised pattern, typically with gold or silver thread.”

“It’s pretty great,” Jacob said. “I honestly didn’t think I was going to win.”

Her doubt was not based on a lack of preparation.

Jacob initially had been studying for the school-level bee at Eisenhower.

After winning that, she began studying an expanded word list — 225 words were added for the county bee — daily.

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Drake Lawson, an eighth-grader at Beaty-Warren Middle School, spells a word Thursday, during the 2022 Warren County Spelling Bee.

“Every day after dinner, I would read and spell the words,” she said. Sometimes her mother, Jennifer, was brought in to help.

“It took a very long time,” she said. “There were a lot of words.”

For winning, Jacob will represent the county at the Regional Spelling Bee, March 12, at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and $200 towards that trip.

Jacob and Lawson, who will be the alternate county representative to the regional bee, each won a subscription to Britannica Online for Kids.

Each of the top three finishers — Jacob, Lawson, and Liam Ferry of St. Joseph Catholic School — received a plaque and a $100 gift card donated by Northwest Bank.

Ferry and Aubrey Carrington of Beaty were each knocked out in the 11th round and had to be called back to the stage to determine third place, adding three more rounds to their competition.

There were a number of parents and other family members in attendance.

And, possibly for the first time in Warren County Spelling Bee history — a student cheering section with signs. Seventh-graders Gracie Page, Violet Brooker, Attie Corey, and Brooke Sherry had signs in support of Eisenhower Elementary School speller Wesley Wilcox.

Following the event, Beaty Assistant Principal said she had been impressed by the spellers.

“I thought we were going to run out of words this year,” she said.

But Moderator Lori Maloy had enough words. She was assisted by judges Savannah Casey, Joanne Dunham, Chief Todd Mineweaser, and Brandon Deppen.


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