Alexandra Feldman outlasts competition in spelling bee

Alexandra Feldman
Alexandra Feldman
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When things got tough, Alexandra Feldman wrote letters in the air. She asked question like, “May I have the language of origin?” Everything she tried worked, for 16 rounds Jan. 15, at Buddy Taylor Middle School. Alexandra, a seventh-grader at Indian Trails Middle School, is the Flagler County Spelling Bee champ and will move on to regionals.

Seventeen students in grades 5-8 competed, with reading coaches April Imperio, Amy Neuenfeldt and Kristen Rossheim as judges. Wadsworth Elementary Principal Robin DuPont was the pronouncer.

Ivana Moore, Miranda Honiker and Tyler Wise were the challengers who stayed with Alexandra the longest. And after a tough stretch of words that included salubrious, depilatory and diaphanous, the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee’s list of words went soft, with words like quiver and trek. Denise Haymes, director of elementary and middle school curriculum instruction, said that’s not uncommon for the bee to have some easy ones, which can be surprisingly tricky under pressure.

After Ivana, an eighth-grader from Imagine School, spelled what would be her last word incorrectly, Alexandra stepped to the microphone. Her mother, Katya Feldman, was there to cheer her on, but Alexandra said she didn’t notice anyone in the audience. To keep her nerves down, she said, “I imagine everything is shrouded in fog, and all I can see are the judges.”

Alexandra knew as soon as she heard her word that she had won. F-o-y-e-r. And the trophy was hers.

As Alexandra and the other students left, bee coordinator and Curriculum Specialist Jill Lively observed what she considered the best part of every bee: “the pride the students feel just being here.”


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