Corydon speller wins third county title
Zachary Patterson, an eighth-grader at Corydon Central Junior High School, won his third Harrison County Spelling Bee contest Feb. 11.
He and fellow contestant, Jason Schmidt, an eighth-grader at North Harrison Middle School, needed six rounds to determine the winner in the Lanesville Elementary School gymnasium. Jason misspelled supragenic followed by Zachary correctly spelling commodious.
Lark Mull, the contest’s pronouncer, said after the contest that there is an ‘element of luck’ as a contestant may be able to spell all the other words in a round ‘except for that one that traps you.’
She also praised the 11 contestants for being ‘very good spellers’ after winning their respective school’s contest.
Zachary, who won in 14 rounds as the youngest speller in 2011 as a fourth-grader and again last year in four rounds as a seventh-grader, was competing this year against his sister, Morgan Patterson, a fifth-grader at Heth-Washington Elementary School. She went out in round three after incorrectly spelling buccaneer.
Zachary said it was ‘kind of a challenge’ having his sister in the contest, but Morgan said she was glad her brother won because it was his last opportunity.
The siblings, whose parents are Frank and Gina Patterson of Corydon, practiced together leading up to the contest about 30 minutes a night then during longer intervals a few days prior.
Gina said she was more nervous for her daughter, in her first county spelling bee, but was proud of both children.
Besides younger sister Natalie, the Patterson siblings were cheered on by their grandparents, Weldon and Judy Danner, aunt Tracy Ketterman and cousin Dustin Ketterman.
Zachary now will compete in the Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee on March 21.
At the county bee, four contestants entered round 5, which started the ‘challenge’ words (words in round one through four were from the ‘beginner’ and ‘intermediate’ lists).
Other contestants were Hayden Frazier, grade 6, Corydon Intermediate School; Hallie Funk, grade 5, Lanesville Elementary School; Emma Griffiths, grade 5, North Harrison Elementary School; Lucas Jobe, grade 5, Morgan Elementary School; Gabryelle Sparks, grade 5, New Middletown Elementary School; Tessa Travis, grade 6, St. Joseph Catholic School; Caroline Woertz, grade 7, St. John’s Lutheran School; and Brayden Yeager, grade 5, South Central Elementary School.
Judges for the contest were Marsha Himmelhaver, Karen Kaake and Danny Schmidt.