DeForest Area Middle School 2021 Spelling Bee Winners

Seventh-grader Vaira McMahan, left, won the bee, the third time in three years she has placed in the top three. Sixth-grader Vincent Bertram, center, took second, after a tie led to a final “spell off.” Eighth-grader Gavin Denning took third place.

This year the annual DeForest Area Middle School Spelling Bee was held in a very different format. Instead of the traditional Spelling Bee, there were two timed online competitions that included both spelling and vocabulary.

This year the school also made the Bee available to fourth graders. Teachers in all five grade levels submitted names of those interested in competing, then their parents or guardians registered them to take the online test.

The first test was a timed grade-level test with 50 questions: 25 spelling words and 25 vocabulary words.

Many kids expressed an interest in competing in this grade-level bee, which was hosted by the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Those receiving high enough scores went on to compete in the District Spelling Bee.

Of the 24 fourth graders who competed, 10 went on to compete in our District Bee

Jack Gay was the only student in all five grades to receive a perfect score on this first test.

Of the 25 fifth graders who competed, 10 qualified to compete in the District Bee

Of the 14 sixth graders who competed, 5 went on to compete in the District Bee.

Of the 21 seventh graders who competed, 10 went on to compete in our District Bee.

Of the 16 eighth graders who competed, 3 went on to compete in the District Bee.

The District Bee was also held online this year, as a timed test that included 15 vocabulary words and 25 spelling words. Seventh-grader Vaira McMahan won the Bee with all 40 questions correct.

She will go on to represent the DeForest Area School District in the Regional Bee that is hosted by CESA 2 (also to be held online).

Vaira has now been among the top three winners in the school district three years in a row.

There was a tie for second place, so eighth-grader Gavin Denning and sixth-grader Vincent Bertram participated in an online “spell-off” to determine the second place winner.

Vincent qualified for second place and Gavin took third.

All three winners received a trophies for their efforts.

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