Correctly spelling “jocular” and “ocarina” won the Georgia Association of Educators District 6 Spelling Bee for Meinard Tao, of Manchester Middle School in Meriwether County, on Saturday.
Winning the competition at Fort Valley State University qualifies Tao, a seventh-grader, to go on to the state competition March 20 at Georgia State University, said Paula Phelps, District 6 coordinator for the spelling bee.
Tao won a trophy, $200, a dictionary and other prizes, Phelps said.
Ariana Johns, a fourth-grade student at St. Joseph’s Catholic School took second place, winning a trophy, $100 and other prizes.
The alternate, or third-place winner, was seventh-grader Faye Khalique, of Veterans Memorial Middle School in Muscogee County. Khalique took home a boxed set of reference books and other prizes, Phelps said.
This year’s competition included a first round of vocabulary words, emphasizing meaning rather than just spelling, Phelps said.
“That prepares them for the national level, because at the national level they’ll have a written test,” she said.