PRINCETON, WV, JANUARY 18, 2017:  Samvat Yadav, a sixth grade student from Princeton Middle School, spelled his way to first place by spelling the noun mandrill correctly.   Even though he spelled his eleventh round word correctly, he still had to spell his final word correctly in order to clinch first place.  The annual Spelling Bee was held this morning at Bluefield State College in the auditorium of the Basic Science Building, and it began with 36 excited and eager contestants. 

 Yadav is a sixth grade student from Princeton Middle School in Princeton, West Virginia. 

He will now represent Mercer County Schools at the Charleston Daily Mail’s Regional Spelling Bee to be held Saturday, March 11, 2017, at Capitol High School in Charleston, West Virginia.  

“Ty” Anderson, an eighth grade student from Bluefield Middle School, placed second.  Ty will also represent Mercer County Schools in regional competition.

 Reece Rhodes of Melrose Elementary placed third.  He will now serve as the Alternate to the Regional Competition.  

Veteran pronouncer and volunteer Rebecca Broyles offered great encouragement to the students.  She reminded them to take their time and ask for help if they needed to hear the definition, context, or word origin. 

 Rick Ball, Assistant Superintendent, served as Master of Ceremonies.  He said, “We applaud all students who have earned the right to compete at the county level.” Furthermore, he told the students that “their school is proud of them, their classmates are proud of them, and their principals are proud of them as well as their parents.”

 Rick Ball and Board of Education Member Jacinda Smith presented each of the three winners with a trophy and commended all the students for winning at the classroom and school level to qualify for county competition.  

 2017 Contestants include the following:   Haley Justice, Athens School; Logan Thornton,

Athens School; Nathan Yost, Bluefield Intermediate; Braden Farley, Bluefield

Intermediate; Christian Farley, Bluewell Elementary; Maliah Lambert, Bluewell

Elementary; Calli Waddell, Brushfork Elementary; Rileigh Gibson, Brushfork

Elementary; Jamya Jones, Ceres Elementary; Kaitlyn Lantz, Ceres Elementary;

Spencer Turner, Glenwood School; Brooklynn Reed, Glenwood School; Penelope

Brown, Lashmeet/Matoaka School; Brooklyn Graham, Lashmeet/Matoaka School; Reece

Rhodes, Melrose Elementary; Leah Williams, Melrose Elementary; Spencer Hawkins,

Mercer Elementary; Treyvon Steptoe, Mercer Elementary; Nicole Clower, Montcalm

Elementary; Kobie Neal, Montcalm Elementary; Aidan Asbury, Oakvale School;

Greysen Weatherly, Oakvale School; Lilly Kinser, Spanishburg School; Jacob Holloman,

Spanishburg School; Caleb Yarber, Straley Elementary; Kaylie Peak, Straley Elementary;

Caleb Christian, Sun Valley Elementary; Kaylee Cales, Sun Valley Elementary; Ryan “Ty” Anderson, Bluefield Middle; Luke Brown, Bluefield Middle; Aaron Turner,

Montcalm Middle; Alicia Reed, Montcalm Middle; Alexander Alvarez, PikeView Middle; Hollie Dunford, PikeView Middle; Samvat Yadav, Princeton Middle; and, Jacob Kinney, Princeton Middle.

 The Mercer County Board of Education and Dr. Deborah Akers – Superintendent – would like to thank Bluefield State College for their continued support of Mercer County academic competitions.