GREENVILLE - Sixty-three students began the South Middle School spelling bee Monday morning, but only four remained after the third round.
Once the fourth student was eliminated, Caleb Coppess, Ashley Strosnider and Amanda Chui battled for first place through several more rounds. Ultimately, Coppess would take first, followed by Strosnider, then Chui. The word that won it for Coppess was “circadian,” a word that refers to bodily processes that tend to take place at 24-hour intervals.
When preparing for the spelling bee, which Coppess took about two hours just prior and portions of his summer to study for, he didn’t think he was going to win, he said.
“It was very unexpected,” Coppess noted. “I feel really good about it, though, because I don’t usually win stuff like this.”
To prepare for the next bee, Coppess said he will study with his parents, Angela and Peter Coppess, using old spelling bee word lists.
Coming in first and second, Strosnider and Chui were also excited to announce the news to their parents following the event.
The spelling bee was organized by Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Garrison and Mrs. Gibson. Jim Suber, county engineer, was the pronouncer, and the judges included Matt Holzapfel, Kathy Lockhart, and Greenville Mayor Mike Bowers.