2022 Spelling Bee Champ Cheyenne Simpson

2022 Spelling Bee Champ Cheyenne Simpson

T.G. Scott Elementary 5th grader Cheyenne Simpson is the 2022 Spelling Bee champion of Monroe County Schools. She sealed her win in the 13th round on Monday night, Jan. 10 by correctly spelling “corridor” and will go on to represent Monroe County in the district Spelling Bee on February 26.

The top 25 spellers in Monroe County schools grades 4-8 were invited to the competition at Monroe County Fine Arts Center where family members and friends watched them take the stage and try to conquer the inconsistencies of spelling in the English language. This year there was also a new twist in the challenge as a vocabulary round was added as the third round in the Spelling Bee. Students were given two definitions for a word and had to choose the correct one. They could even ask for the spelling of the word as they determined their choice. Although students had practiced for the vocabulary round at their schools, as they had for the spelling competition, vocabulary proved to be the stumbling block for two participants, sending them off the stage to the sidelines.

Cheyenne had the dubious honor of being #1 in the order of participants; she was first to start the Spelling Bee in each new round. However, she did not seem phased by going first or by anything else in the competition. She projected poise and confidence each time she approached the microphone and smoothly delivered her correct response. 

Cheyenne’s proud mother, Ashley Wilkes, attributed some of her 5th grader’s confidence to her being the third of three siblings to do well in Monroe County’s spelling bees. She said both Cheyenne’s brother and sister had made it to the final rounds although not able to take home the top trophy as had their little sister.

With the national college football title to be decided in a game starting just after the Monroe County Spelling Bee, Pam Wacter, who had the duty of pronouncing words for contestants, started the Bee by asking Superintendent Dr. Mike Hickman to spell the name of the canine team playing in the game, with the place of origin for the word being Athens, Ga. Hickman correctly spelled “DAWGS”. 

After the practice round, students correctly spelled words from “gusto” to “goggles” with only one incorrect response in the first round. Round two was the end for four spellers as others spelled “wrenches” and “sitcom” correctly. After the vocabulary round, Round four only tripped up one speller who put a single ‘r’ in “irregular;” in Round five one speller went down on “dependable.” Round six took out three spellers, one of them asked to spell the name of the British game “conkers,” showing that being a successful speller calls for a wide general knowledge as well as understanding phonetics and commonly used terms.

By Round nine there were three spellers left, Cheyenne and 6th graders Foster Groebner and Thomas Berg. Groebner continued through Round 11, and Berg’s misspelling came in Round 12, making him the runner-up in the 2022 Spelling Bee. He will represent Monroe County in the District Bee if for some reason Cheyenne can’t.

Cheyenne is the daughter of Ashley Wilkes and Christopher Simpson. 

Other top spellers in Monroe County schools are Alexis Wright, Kaleb Allen, Foster Groebner, Thomas Berg, Luke Wu, Trenton Jones, Ka’mari Clowers, Olivia Dietz, Travis Gowey, Kayson Swint, Layne Scoggins, Henley Farmer, Alyssa Waldrup, Ethan Cochran, Dalton Powell, Harmony Bass, Carli Davis, Angel Goodson, Kamryn Vannier, Logan Bertram. Four other spellers qualified at their school but didn’t compete in the system-wide Spelling Bee: Karmyn King, Mason Holloway, Terri Flournoy, Carla Locus.