PIQUA — The Piqua City Schools city-wide spelling bee was held Thursday, with Piqua Catholic eighth-grader Daria Lee taking home the championship.
Daria went head to head with Piqua Central Intermediate sixth-grader Kaden Earick for nine rounds before Daria sealed the deal in the 19th round with the champion word “magpie” after Kaden misspelled “scald” in round 18.
Daria, daughter of Kris and Peg Lee, said this is her third time appearing in the city-wide bee. She was the runner-up in Piqua Catholic’s school-wide spelling bee.
“I like the learning concept of (the spelling bee),” Daria said. “You get to learn how to spell new words and it challenges you a lot.”
Daria, 13, said that while she has a knack for spelling, her favorite school subject is math, particularly algebra.
“I just love school and I love learning,” she said.
Daria participates in volleyball, cheerleading, soccer, basketball and track.
Kaden, son of Kristy and Kevin Earick, also won runner-up at his school-wide bee. This is Kaden’s first time in the city-wide competition.
“I’m pretty good at spelling, but sometimes it’s nerve-wracking to be in the spelling bee,” he said.
To combat his nerves, Kaden said he came prepared.
“I practiced a lot last night and right before this,” he said.
His mom, Kristy, added that Kaden’s grandma Jane helped him prepare.
“She practices spelling words with him every day,” she said.
Kaden said his favorite subject is math, and he participates in soccer.
The winner and runner-up from each school-wide spelling bee participated in the city-wide bee. This included Washington Primary School’s Landon Sullenberger (winner) and Olivia DeBrosse (runner-up); Springcreek Primary School’s Addison Leonard (winner) and Eric Grimm (runner-up); Piqua Central Intermediate’s Grace Harshbarger (winner) and Kaden Earick (runner-up); Piqua Jr. High’s Mikayla Gambill (winner) and Noah Bishop (runner-up); and Piqua Catholic’s Olivia Hudgel (winner) and Daria Lee (runner-up).
Piqua Junior High School student Mikayla Gambill was unable to participate in Thursday’s competition due to illness.
Serving as judges at the city-wide spelling bee were Teresa Anderson and Mindy Gearhardt.
Yvonne Wion served as the pronouncer, delivering words to each contestant with accompanying origin, definition, and usage in a sentence upon request.
Both Kaden and Daria will be invited to a Piqua Kiwanis Club luncheon, at a date to be determined, during which they will be recognized for their efforts and awarded plaques.