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University of Montana Western Will Play Host To County Spelling Bee

The University of Montana Western will play host to elementary and middle school spellers from around the county on Thursday, February 2nd at 1:30 P.M. in the Beier Auditorium in the Main Hall. Students from all grade schools, plus those from Dillon Middle School, and home schools will contend for a trip to the Treasure State Spelling Bee on March 11th in Bozeman.

County Superintendent of Schools Mike Miller is serving as the director for this year’s contest.

“The six rural schools, Lima’s Elementary School, the area home schoolers, and the schools in Dillon have all been invited to send spellers to challenge for a trip to Bozeman in March,” said Miller. “We may have as many as 30 area spellers entered in the contest this year, although some schools may choose not to take part.”

Trophies for the top two spellers and certificates for all the participants will be presented at the conclusion of the event along with donations from local financial institutions to help defray the costs for travel to Bozeman. Three local judges have volunteered, along with Dr. Laura Straus, an Education Department professor from the University of Montana Western will be pronouncing the words.

The Treasure State Spelling Bee, now in its 59th year, is conducted along the rules of the Scripps National Spelling Bee organization which furnishes the spelling list used at local and state spelling bees. “At least one speller from each county can be entered in the state bee, while counties with a much larger population are allowed more spellers. But it is expected that 60 spellers will converge on the campus of Montana State University at the Strand Ballroom for this year’s contest,” reported Miller. Only students from schools which are enrolled in the National Scripps organization are eligible to participate in the state bee, although registration is not required for the county bee.

The Montana Television Network sponsors the event and journalists from the network serve as judges. Radio and newspaper columnist Chrysti “The Wordsmith” Smith will be pronouncing.

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