By WARREN DILLAWAY - firstname.lastname@example.org
ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP —
Ava Camplese concluded the Ridgeview Elementary School spelling bee by correctly spelling “conclude.”
Ava, a fourth-grader, won an intense competition that started with 12 classroom winners and ended many rounds later after the competition had been whittled to two contestants.
Ava and Jazmine Macks, a fifth grader, battled it out for four or five rounds after the others were eliminated. They had three instances where both competitors missed their words.
Ridgeview Principal Mary Balmford explained the rules and read the words to the contestants. She said all classrooms had their own spelling bees which led to the 12 contestants.
Posters lined the walls of the school’s gymnasium, encouraging each of contestant.
The gymnasium was packed with fellow students and a dozen visitors, who viewed the competition from the back of the gymnasium.
Emotions rose as the number of contestants fell.
During one of the final rounds Ava spelled her word correctly and broke into a huge smile while the students watching let out a happy gasp.
Camplese will represent the school in the districtwide spelling bee Jan. 16.