Erin '27 won the 2021 Norfolk Academy Spelling Bee, putting her in the running for a chance to qualify for this year's Scripps National contest.
Students across sixth and seventh grades shined during the January 13 event, spelling 105 words correctly over the course of about an hour. Kate '27 earned second place. Lily '27 earned third place.
Marquee was the word Erin spelled correctly to clinch the title.
Among the other words the students spelled correctly: stalagmite (a mound or tapering column rising from the floor of a cave); apparition (a ghost or ghostlike image of a person); and exhalation (the process or action of exhaling).
School safety procedures amid the worldwide pandemic meant this year's competition looked different. Three Distance Learners competed from home, spelling virtually while Sarah Smythe, NA's Admissions Director, judged from the Johnson Theater stage.
Other competitors were spread out several feet apart in theater seats. They walked individually to the stage, listened to Headmaster Dennis Manning read the words virtually from his office, and took their masks off only when spelling.
With her victory, Erin qualifies for a regional WHRO bee scheduled for February. The winner of that competition can advance to the Scripps National bee, scheduled for later in the year.