Centennial Middle School student Christian Jackson is the 2010 Broken Arrow Public Schools District Spelling Bee champion after edging Oliver Middle School student Gracin Criqui in the championship round of the district bee held at Central on Main.
Jackson and Criqui (both eighth graders) were cool, calm, and collected in gliding through the first six rounds of the event which ultimately eliminated the other 16 competitors from the event.
“I was a little surprised to look up and see that it was down to only two,” Jackson said. “I figured going in that I would get out in the third round. Some of the words were very difficult. Fortunately, I knew the words given to me.”
Jackson, who said he had never before participated in the district event which is open to fourth through eighth grade students who are the spelling champ at their school, spelled distillation (after it was missed by Criqui) and calzone to claim the title.
“I was just a little bit nervous when the spelling bee started and I looked out from the stage at all of the people in the room,” Jackson said. “After that I kind of calmed down.”
And won the district spelling bee.
In addition to Jackson (champion) and Criqui (runner-up), other students who participated in the District Spelling Bee were Riyah Thompson (Arrow Springs), Avery Fry (Arrowhead), Crystal Kunze (Childers), Megan Kesterson (CL 45), Jared Tate (Haskell), Joseph Jackson (Indian Springs), Ari Martin (Leisure Park), Grace Riemer (Lynn Wood), Olivia Holcomb (Oak Crest), Gentry Kincade (Park Lane), Rebecca Sunny (Rhoades), Li Leong (Sequoyah), Mackenzie Head (Spring Creek), Mason Bishop (Vandever), Ryan Polk (Westwood), and Corbin Knox (Wolf Creek).
Language Arts Coordinator Ayn Grubb was the Spelling Bee Chairperson. Dr. John Mercer, Professor of English at Northeastern State University, was the pronouncer for the event. Judges were Liz Burns, Principal at Childers; Nancy Jones, Reading Specialist; and Cathy O’Kane, Reading Specialist.