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Dean Rusk Student Named County Spelling Champ

Posted On: Friday, January 10, 2020

spelling bee winners

From left, first place winner Riley O'Neill of Dean Rusk MS; second place winner Brayden McPhillips of Woodstock MS; and third place winner Laura Hand of Creekland MS

Note:  A gallery of photos of all spellers from the Bee can be seen here.

Dean Rusk Middle School sixth-grader Riley O’Neill correctly spelled “piratical” and then “hurriedly” to claim the title as the county’s top speller at the 2020 Cherokee County School District Spelling Bee Thursday night at Cherokee High School.  Brayden McPhillips of Woodstock Middle School captured second, and Laura Hand of Creekland Middle School placed third. 

Twenty-nine Cherokee County students put their spelling skills to the test in the Georgia Association of Educators and Cherokee County Association of Educators’ annual competition, which went 15 rounds over 90 minutes before a winner was decided. Spellers tackled more than 120 words, including tricky terms like “diaphoresis,” “vacuum” and “firmament.” 

All three students will advance to the GAE  Region Spelling Bee in Cobb County on February 22. State winners advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee held in Washington, DC in May.

The county spelling bee is sponsored each year by Cherokee County Association of Educators and the Georgia Association of Educators. Peta Murray is the GAE Spelling Bee Coordinator; John Carter served as caller of the words; judges were School Board Member John Harmon, along with Ana Pettit and Tiffany Robbins.  Lena Washington, Bekki Couch and Stephanie Shaffer were spotters (assisting speller advocates in the event of a question).

School level winners were:

Avery Elementary

Campbell Stell

Ball Ground STEM Academy

Landon Parker

Bascomb Elementary

Tavo Strougo

Boston Elementary

Noah Voravong

Carmel Elementary

Sophie Black

Clark Creek STEM Academy

Keirthen Titus

Clayton Elementary

Jon Burton

Creekland Middle

Laura Hand

Dean Rusk Middle

Riley O'Neill

E.T. Booth Middle

Avery Cheatam

Free Home Elementary

Sadie Coltrane

Freedom Middle

Abigail McCarty

Hasty Fine Arts Academy

Yasif Suazo-Garcia

Hickory Flat Elementary

Carson Wilkey

Holly Springs STEM Academy

Isabella Posey

Indian Knoll Elementary

Molly Dutko

Johnston Elementary

Benjamin Rubin

Knox STEM Academy

Kaya Griffin

Liberty Elementary

Kavya Desai

Little River Elementary

Cayden Waites

Macedonia Elementary

Isabella D'Agostino

Mill Creek Middle

Caleb Glisson

Mountain Road Elementary

Dahlen Roth

Oak Grove Fine Arts Academy*

Penuel Mensah

R.M. Moore STEM Academy

Kayson Evans

Sixes Elementary

Micayla Hurndon

Teasley Middle

Catherine Bell

Woodstock Elementary

Cooper Tetstone

Woodstock Middle

Brayden McPhillips

*alternate Adrian Hernandez competed in the county bee


group photo

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