A comment by a friend really nagged a Union Elementary School fourth grader.

Aiden Woods remembers what a friend told him earlier this school year about his spelling skills.

“One of my friends said I couldn’t spell that well, so I wanted to prove him wrong,” he said.

Woods decided to enter the school spelling bee to prove that he was a good speller. He won.

Now he is looking for county glory as he competes in the annual Johnson County Spelling Bee on Tuesday. The annual event is sponsored by the Daily Journal and the Franklin Community Teachers Association.

Twenty of the county’s top spellers in Grades 3 to 5 are preparing to spell words such as “valorous” and “accreditation” at Creekside Elementary School.

Each student had to win his or her school spelling bee to make it to the county spelling bee.

A trophy and the chance to compete at the next level are at stake.

Spell check and auto correct won’t save them if they don’t know how to spell a word. They will have only their memory and reading skills to help propel them through the competition.

Most have been studying in their free time to prepare for the county spelling bee.

And that is the right attitude, as practicing is one of the top tips offered by Linda Greenwell, an organizer of the bee.

Woods thought about what his friend said to him and vowed that he would practice enough to win the school spelling bee.

He is using the same strategy in hopes that spending about 30 minutes every night going over the words will catapult him to a county title for spelling.

“I am looking forward to winning,” Woods said.

Dane Kunz, a third grader at Whiteland Elementary School, knows that the sports he plays takes practice to become good.

He is using that same mindset to make sure that he gets a top placement in the county bee, he said.

“You practice,” he said.

While practicing the words is the top tip offered by Greenwell, not knowing one word could eliminate the spellers from the bee.

She is encouraging each speller to make sure they have their stress under control too. Spellers are advised to take their time, take a deep breathe and visualize the word.

And if they don’t know the word, asking for it to be used in a sentence could help, she said.

Emma Baker is taking her second turn at the Johnson County Spelling Bee after competing last year.

Last year she remembers how she spelled a word in her head multiple times before spelling it for the judges and how she took deep breaths to calm her down.

“It was so exciting last year, and so fun,” she said.

Being a good speller helps in other aspects of your life, which is why Baker has prioritized becoming a stellar speller, she said.

“You want to be able to spell things yourself without using auto-correct,” said Baker.

Woods will keep practicing until he knows the words he needs to win, he said.

And his friend has claimed partial credit for his win, telling him he dissed his spelling skills as a motivational tool, Woods said.

If you go

What: 2016 Johnson County Spelling Bee

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Creekside Elementary School, 700 E. State Road 44, Franklin.

Sponsored by: The Daily Journal and the Franklin Community Teachers Association.

Here is a look at the students competing at the Johnson County Spelling Bee.

Emma Baker, Southwest Elementary School, daughter of Jason and Kara Baker

Ava Brosmer, Maple Grove Elementary School, daughter of Carey and Jerry Brosmer

Dominic Brown, Break-O-Day Elementary School, son of Anne Brown

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Adria Dick, Sugar Grove Elementary School, daughter of Jason and Meghan Dick

Gabriel Folco, Westwood Elementary School, son of Brad and Amanda Folco

Brayden Holman, Isom Elementary School, son of Monique Holman

Clay Holman, Needham Elementary School, son of Rita and Robert Holman

Dylan Hood, Creekside Elementary School, son of William and Ashley Hood

Dane Kunz, Whiteland Elementary School, son of Todd and Stacie Kunz

Mason Laux, Webb Elementary School, son of Anna and Travis Laux

Adelaid McGill, Saint Francis and Clare School, daughter of Cassie McGill

Noah Miller, Greenwood Christian Academy, son of Heather Miller

Abbegale “Abby” Moore, Indian Creek Intermediate School, daughter of Holly Moore and Raymond Moore

Natsuki “Marnie” Moore, Northwood Elementary School, daughter of Greg Moore and Tamayo Fukomoto

Irving Luis-Orozco, East Side Elementary School, son of Marta Orozco

Mary Sayler, St. Rose of Lima School, daughter of Joe and Mary Sayler

Annabelle Schmitt, Pleasant Crossing Elementary School, daughter of Alicia and Bryan Misch and John and Samantha Schmitt

Ava Smith, Northeast Elementary School, daughter of Amanda Smith and Lindsay Weliever

Maddi Stillabower, Custer Baker Intermediate School, daughter of Scott and Beth Stillabower

Aiden Woods, Union Elementary School, son of Chad and Paige Woods

Author photo
Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at mkritsch@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2770.