Dayton girl winner of Regional Spelling Bee

Spelling the word “autonomous” correctly is what landed Emily Helm, 11, of Dayton the victory after 19 nail-biting rounds.

The next stop for Helm, a violinist and future book author, is Washington, D.C., where she will represent the Miami Valley region in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will be held May 25-31.

“I was really nervous about the bee,” said Helm as she held her large trophy. “I think the worst part was when I had to go up there and wait for my word.”

Runner-up was Erica Flory, a 10-year-old fifth-grader from Brookville Intermediate School.

“Did not expect to go as far as I did,” Flory said. The young dancer and piano player added that coming in second wasn’t a bad spot to be in. “Half of you kinda wants to get first, but second place is kinda like, you know you did pretty good if you didn’t expect to go as far as you did. It feels really good.”

Third place winners were Landin Brown, an eighth-grader at Greenville Junior High School and Mary Jo Johnson, sixth-grader at Baker Middle School.

A total of 17 students participated in the bee, which was held Saturday at Sinclair Community College’s Ponitz Auditorium. All received trophies.

Other bee participants included Ajacious Edmondson, sixth-grader at Blairwood Elementary; Rylee Emig, eighth-grader at Twin Valley South Middle School; Cameron Miller, sixth-grader at Morton Middle School; Jared Milliman, eighth-grader at Bethel Junior High School; Morgan Reynolds, fifth-grader at Ridgewood School; Charlie Rippee, fifth-grader at Arcanum Middle School; Grace Ryan, sixth-grader at Piqua Catholic School; Emylee Stringfield, eighth-grader at Greeneview Middle School; Caitlin Swallow, eighth-grader at St. Patrick Catholic School; John Vuong, sixth-grader at Monticello Elementary School; Brookie Wilkens, seventh-grader at Watts Middle School; Philippa Zhang, seventh-grader at Oakwood Junior High School and Lance Drake, eighth-grader at Virtual Academy.

Pronouncer was Ann Snyder, Gifted Coordinating teacher for Dayton Public Schools and Mary McCarty, former Dayton Daily News columnist, was the emcee.

Judges were Patricia Day, World History teacher at Thurgood Marshall High School; Carole Dean, retired Dayton Public Schools educator and Margaret Baird, retired Dayton Public Schools educator.

Each of the students in Saturday’s bee were district spelling bee winners, who survived local spelling bees held by 139 local schools in the counties of Darke, Greene, Clark, Montgomery, Miami and the Ohio Virtual Academy.

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