Kellan spelling

Champion Kellan Bay spells a word on stage at West Noble Middle School Tuesday night for the Noble County Spelling Bee. Behind him, seated from left, are Ben Reed, Logan Phares, Ilse Soria and Avery Phillips.

LIGONIER — Kellan Bay might not mind if you call him a “scoundrel” — after all, that was the word he spelled to win the Noble County Spelling Bee.

Bay, a seventh-grade student at St. Mary School in Avilla, won the title of champion after seven rounds of spelling at the bee Tuesday.

He competed at West Noble Middle School against four other spellers.

Those were Ben Reed, a sixth-grader at St. John Lutheran School, who came in fifth; Avery Phillips, an eighth-grader at Central Noble Jr./Sr. High, who came in fourth; Logan Phares, a fifth-grader and alternate for Central Noble Elementary, who placed third; and Ilse Soria, a fifth-grader at West Noble Middle School, who placed second.

Judge and teacher at West Noble Middle Leslie Wechter said this was the first year the county spelling bee was held on its original date, not a snow day.

After his win, Bay said he studied about an hour three days a week to prepare for the bee.

“I feel pretty good,” Bay said. “It was a lot of studying, but it was worth it.”

His studying included reviewing roots and etymology, plus quizzes from his parents and teacher.

Mom Nicole and dad Thaddeus Bay, ecstatic after the bee, said they hoped their only child learned life lessons from competing.

“I hope he learns about competition,” Thaddeus Bay said. “I hope he learns about being a good participant and that he genuinely cares about wanting to succeed at something.”

And what is Kellan looking forward to at his next competition?

“Winning,” he said.

But even if he doesn’t win, Kellan said he still enjoys learning to spell, and there’s always next year.

“Even if I do lose, I know more words for next year,” he said. “I like the fact that it’s almost like a game.”

Kellan will go on to compete at the Journal Gazette Regional Spelling Bee at 10 a.m. on March 7 at the Purdue Fort Wayne Rhinehart Recital Hall.

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