NYSSA — The hallways at Nyssa Elementary School were buzzing with the voices of students from Malheur County schools Friday morning for the third annual Malheur County Spelling Bee. Talking amongst themselves various student competitors admitted they were very nervous before taking their turn in competition.
Eight students from Four Rivers Community School were in attendance, from ages first through eighth grades. Alison Castro, a third-grader from Four Rivers said she was, “nervous” when it was her turn to spell. And one of the words she remembered spelling correctly was “s-q-u-i-s-h-y.” It was Alison’s first year the the spelling bee. It was Four Rivers fifth-grader Ariel Martinez’ third year participating in the event, and her teacher said Ariel has been a returning competitor since the inaugural competition.
One of the competitors came out of the music room spelling, d-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y to herself. She continued spelling it 10 minutes before the championship round. The championship round participants competed in numerical order. Students could request judges say the word again, define the word, use the word in a sentence, or request language of origin. The audience held their applause until the winner was announced. Contestants were not allowed to begin again, once they started spelling the word. Nyssa Middle School student and sixth-grader Cadi Corn, successfully spelled the word *mantis* and took the title of third annual Malheur County Spelling Bee champion. Corn also won the championship in 2018. It was her second year in a row taking the title.