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Kelsey Baker wins SEAS spelling bee

Seton School Principal Dr. Jill Moes (right) congratulates Spelling Bee runner-up Andy O'Brien and champion Kelsey Baker. (Star Gazette photo by Jane Lightbourn)1 / 2
Contestants in the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School Spelling Bee are, front row left to right, Cora Anderson, Ian Jesme, Nathan Klingner, Nicholas Endres and Andy O'Brien. In the back row are Tedi Berry, Monica Calkins, Mykayla Babcock, Kelsey Baker, Mariah Latuff, Augustine Bauer and Nick Foster. (Star Gazette photo by Jane Lightbourn)2 / 2

The winning word for Kelsey Baker was "barren."

The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton fifth-grader spelled the word correctly on the 10th round of the annual school spelling bee Monday and was named best speller.

Fourth-grader Andy O'Brien was the runner-up and Monica Caulkins was the alternate. Kelsey and Andy now advance to a competition with other Catholic schools at All Saints School in Lakeville.

Other finalists were Cora Anderson, Ian Jesme, Nathan Klingner, Nicholas Endres, Tedi Berry, Mykayla Babcock, Mariah Latuff, Augustine Bauer and Nick Foster.

Kelsey said it was "pretty cool" to win the competition - 11 other students were in the final round.

"I studied a lot," she said about her preparation. "I thought I misspelled the first word."

The first word was "blade," and she had not misspelled it.

Through each of the Monday morning rounds the words became progressively harder for students. Toward the latter rounds the words were "turquoise," "horizontal," "reimburse" and monarchy."

The fourth- and fifth-grade students held 12 qualifying rounds last week. Students were judged on the entire 12 rounds.

"Our goal with the spelling bee is to continue to encourage our students to have higher achievement in spelling," said principal Dr. Jill Moes. "With texting and computer spell checks, sometimes there are too many short cuts.

"We want to strengthen their spelling skills in all areas of the curriculum at the school," she said.