Scott named top speller at Houlton Middle-High School

4 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — Justus Scott, an eighth-grader at Houlton Middle-High School, bested a field of 12 peers Wednesday morning to claim Houlton’s spelling title.

Students participating in the Houlton Middle-High School spelling bee Wednesday, Jan. 29, were, seated from left, Julianah Willette, Liam Fraser, Hayloe Sherman, Catherine Dow, Samantha Nadeau, McKenna Phillips and Jack Hodgkins; and back, Kayliegh McQuade, Tia Burlock, Damien Bettencourt, Connor Ames, Lindsey Bartman and Justus Scott. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

Lasting for 24 rounds, and little more than an hour, Scott successfully spelled the words “sheetrock” and “equator” to capture his school’s spelling crown. Seventh-grader McKenna Phillips finished as the runner-up.  

Both students advance to the Northern District (Aroostook County) Scripps National Spelling Bee competition for middle school students scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in Fox Auditorium at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Narrowing the field of 13 students to just two finalists proved challenging. Scott and Phillips battled through five rounds before a winner was crowned. 

Erica Tweedie, a guidance counselor at the school, served as the pronouncer for the bee.

Other students participating in the event were sixth-graders Julianah Willette, Liam Fraser and Hayloe Sherman; seventh-graders Catherine Dow, Samantha Nadeau, Jack Hodgkins and  Kayliegh McQuade; and eighth-graders Tia Burlock, Damien Bettencourt, Connor Ames and Lindsey Bartman.