Winner by a ‘nostril’

2011-02-25T00:15:00Z 2011-12-30T15:34:26Z Winner by a ‘nostril’By Nick Gevock of The Montana Standard Montana Standard
February 25, 2011 12:15 am  • 

In this day of word processing and spell checks, does anyone know how to actually spell words without the help of computers?

Seriously: Rattle off the correct spelling for euphonious, rhombus or rambunctious (certainly a journalist can’t do it).

But Michaela Spangler can. The sixth-grade student at Kennedy Elementary School made it through six rounds Thursday afternoon to take the top prize in the county spelling bee. The event was sponsored by The Montana Standard.

When asked about her preparation, Spangler said there wasn’t a lot to it.

“I didn’t study,” she said.

But her father, Bruce Madigan, said Michaela has a love of something that helped her become an excellent speller.

“She studies daily by devouring books,” he said after the event.

The bee drew 37 students from throughout Butte-Silver Bow who had qualified in their respective schools. It included students from the public and private schools who came to Montana Tech to face off with their knowledge of words.

They were hit with some tough words in the first two rounds. Narcoleptic, quotient, rambunctious.

The field quickly whittled to a handful of students before it came down to Spangler and Erin Olivieri, an eighth-grade student at East Middle School who won the bee last year. Spangler won in the end by correctly spelling two words.

Both she and Olivieri advance to the state bee, sponsored by Montana Lee Newspapers, in Billings March 14. The state winner goes on to the national bee, sponsored by Scripps Newspapers, in Washington, D.C.

Reporter Nick Gevock may be reached at nick.gevock@mtstandard.com.

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