Enact, flora, curiosity, emotional, proposition ....One by one, 28 students in Carson Middle School’s sixth-grade spelling bee misspelled a word, disqualifying themselves from the competition. That left just Rachel Weese, 11, and Troy Murray, 12. “It felt kind of awkward because it was just Troy and me,” Rachel said. “It was pressuring to be up there with just two people.”With the pressure mounting, Rachel was the last to go down, slipping up on “incoherently.”That left just Troy to with the championship word. Without hesitating or stumbling, he spelled out i-n-n-o-v-a-t-o-r.And it came as no surprise. “I expected to win because right when I got the list, I gave it to my mom and I started practicing really hard,” he said. “Every day, we kept going over and over those words, seven days a week, 24 hours. When I missed one, my mom made me write it 20 times. I guess it all paid off.”Despite his dedication, spelling bee coordinator and sixth-grade English teacher Susan Hoffman said, Troy’s victory was hard won. “There were some bright kids on that stage,” she said. “He had some stiff competition.”Seventh-graders at the school will compete today followed by eighth-graders on Thursday. Winners will advance to a citywide bee in January at Bethlehem Lutheran School. Those winners will advance to the state competition. Last year’s city winner, Natalie Anderson then a sixth-grader at Carson Middle School, went on to place fifth at the state bee. She will participate in today’s seventh-grade competition. Hoffman said she would like to students from the school have similar success this year. “I’m hoping we start a tradition here at Carson Middle School,” she said.
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