COVINGTON— Both Newton and Rockdale County schools held their district Spelling Bees on Friday morning.

In Covington, it took nine rounds, but in the end Clements Middle School eighth-grader Cameron Thomas claimed victory when he correctly spelled the words “portentously” and “attenuated.”

For Rockdale, Gen. Ray Davis Middle School eighth-grader Kennedy Boothe won First Place. After many nail-biting rounds eliminating contestants, Boothe correctly spelled “hallucinations” and “conspicuous” to win the district trophy.

Thomas and Boothe will represent their counties at the 2019 District 5 Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Edwards Middle School in Conyers.

Heard-Mixon Elementary School fourth-grader Anthony Miller was runner-up for Newton County and will serve as the NCSS alternate in the event Thomas cannot participate in the Regional Bee. Zaccheus Fairman, a fourth-grader at C.J. Hicks Elementary and the runner-up for Rockdale, will do the same.

“I studied all week, so I’m happy to win,” said Thomas, who noted he studied spelling words at home each night. When his mom got home from work she would help him review the spelling list.

He added that he felt confident that he knew all the words called at the bee.

Runner-up Anthony Miller, who’s only in his first year of eligibility (students in grades four through eight may compete) for the Spelling Bee, stated that although he was nervous, he was also confident in his ability.

“It feels pretty good to be runner-up,” said Miller. “I want to be a writer when I grow up, and if you want to be writer, you’ve got to know how to spell.”

The winners and runners-up all said they were going to start reviewing their spelling lists now to study and prepare for the upcoming Regional Spelling Bee.

“Spelling is an important skill to have and I congratulate both Cameron and Anthony on a job well done,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “They represented their schools very well and should be very proud of their accomplishments. I wish Cameron the very best in the Regional Spelling Bee, and I look forward to seeing Anthony compete in our system bee for many years to come.”

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Covington native and proud Valdosta State alumna, Hunter has previously worked with The Covington News and Valdosta Daily Times. She started working for Rockdale/Newton Citizen in June 2018.