McLean County Spelling Bee e-x-t-r-a-v-a-g-a-n-z-a
By Cheryl McCormack
"You are all winners, that's why you're here."
Karen Boyko, pronouncer of the 2015 McLean County Spelling Bee, addressed the 40 first- through fifth-grade students gathered in Washburn during last week's annual competition.
Participants were each given a written word test, which was followed by lunch and the oral round. During the latter, students were asked to pronounce and spell a handful of words, orally, in front of three judges and an auditorium full of people.
Fifth graders spelled "extravaganza" and "chauffeur," while first graders were faced with the words, "beautiful" and "friend."
About halfway through the oral round, Boyko teased the students about finding a new activity to fill up their free time. "You won't be practicing spelling words tonight," she said, "and neither will your parents."