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Patel wins county spelling bee

On Friday, Greenville Elementary School third grader Krupa Patel walked away as the Butler County Schools Spelling Bee champion. (Advocate Staff/Patty Vaughan)

C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-C-E.

Confidence.

According to Butler County School Superintendent Darren Douthitt, that’s just one of the many benefits to students the Butler County Schools System’s annual spelling bee provides.

“I think beyond showing their skill at being able to spell, it’s a confidence builder,” Douthitt said. “Kids these days have to have opportunities to build confidence. Even those who made the mistake and didn’t spell the word correctly, they step away with more confidence than they had yesterday for having competed in this spelling bee.”

On Friday, Greenville Elementary School third grader Krupa Patel walked away as the Butler County Schools Spelling Bee champion. Patel will go one to represent Butler County in the state competition in Birmingham in March.

The finalist for the annual spelling bee advanced by winning classroom spelling bees, grade-level spelling bees and a school competition.

Finalists included eighth grader LaShaun Simmons from Greenville Middle School; seventh grader Justin Cobb from Georgiana School and eighth grader Austin Weathers from McKenzie School.

“I think these kids excel in different areas,” Fay Stokes, attendance officer and community education director, said. “Life is a competition so this is just one thing to get the students ready to compete in life.”

Patel received a trophy as well as Weathers who was the runner up. Each representative and alternate from each school received medals and free movie passes.

“We all enjoy those sports, and I believe if citizens started enjoying spelling bees and math tournaments as much as we enjoy basketball and football games, it will make our schools and communities a whole lot better,” Douthitt said.