Local speller places fourth in state bee

Local spelling whiz and seventh grade Alexander Junior High student Brandon Ashmore landed fourth place in this year’s statewide Spelling Bee competition in Jackson on Tuesday.

This is the second year in a row that Ashmore has made it to the state finals after winning the district Spelling Bee event held at Bogue Chitto Attendance Center.

At last year’s state finals, Ashmore ended up in sixth place.

This year, after making it through 28 rounds, Ashmore tripped up on the spelling of “serge.” Serge is a twill fabric with front-and-back-side diagonal ribs.

Among the words Ashmore successfully spelled included calypso, schipperke, destructive and capricious.

Ashmore competed against 29 other students from across the state. He received a medal for his high placing.

In an interview with Alexander Junior High Librarian JoLyn Arnold, Ashmore gave advice to other students that he has found useful in his own experience.

“If you plan on participating in the Spelling Bee, then you must be prepared.”

Ashmore has no plans of slowing down in the future. He intends to sharpen his already exemplary spelling skills by joining the Word Club. The Word Club provides members spelling and vocabulary tests and word definitions, information and pronunciations.

“We are so proud of Brandon,” Arnold said.