“C.J. Branham Wins Pike Grade School Spelling Bee”
With the correct spelling of the word “pyramid,” C.J. Branham became the Grand Champion of the Pike County Grade School Spelling Bee for 2017. Branham, an eighth grader at Mullins school, will now advance to state competition in March.
He was the last speller standing after spelling down the best spellers from each elementary school in the Pike County and Pikeville Independent School Districts. Branham also won the Eighth Grade Runner-Up trophy.
Jason Lin, an eighth grader at Pikeville, took First Runner-Up at the Bee and also won the Eight Grade Championship. Kennedi Rash, a seventh grader at Belfry Middle, took Second Runner-Up Overall and Seventh Grade Runner-Up.
Coach of the Year went to Traci Tackett of Pikeville, for having the most winners at the spelling bee.
Individual grade winners and runners-up, in addition to those mentioned, were: Fourth Grade- Runner-Up- Brylon Swiney of Millard, Winner-Paisley Fields of Valley; Fifth Grade- Runner-Up- Sydney Thacker of Kimper, Winner- Ally Rife of Johns Creek; Sixth Grade- Runner-Up- Tamara Blankenship of Phelps Elementary, Winner- Katelyn Stiltner- Feds Creek; and Seventh Grade- Winner- Noah Thacker- Pikeville.
Pronouncer was Dr. Kay Webb, wife of Dr. Burton Webb, president of the University of Pikeville. Kay Webb is a counseling psychologist at UPIKE. Master of Ceremonies was Pike Instructional Supervisor Phillip Birchfield. Judges were: Gifted and Talented Coordinator Patty Johnson, Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher Cindy Adkins and Public Information Officer Rosalind Stanley. District Innovation Coordinator Mary Beth Stiltner and Technology Technician Catrina Slone assisted with the Spelling Bee.
Instructional Administrative Assistant Cassandra Goff coordinated the Spelling Bee and did an excellent job. Special appreciation is extended to Youth Services Center Director Pat May, Media Specialist Sandy Brown, Principal Mark Gannon and the Belfry High School Staff for the use of their facility and for their hospitality in hosting the spelling bee.