Shank captures Mill Pond spelling crown

3 years ago

HODGDON, Maine — Eighth-grader Samantha Shank was crowned the 2021 Mill Pond School spelling bee champion Friday, Feb. 5, in a virtual setting.

Bee Master Stephanie Harris explained this year’s bee featured a modified format that saw some of the contestants participate in person, while others joined via the online video conferencing platform Zoom. 

“We didn’t have an audience due to COVID regulations,” she explained. “As you can imagine, we had technology issues so the start of the bee was delayed.”

Shank won the final round of her school’s bee as she correctly spelled the word “indecipherable,” followed by the championship word, “podium.”

The runner-up in the contest was eighth-grader Landan Potter. Both students will compete in the Aroostook County Spelling Bee, which will also be done in an online format. Because of COVID-19, the traditional County Spelling Bee will not be possible.

The Aroostook County Spelling Bee will be held the last week of February, Harris said. It will be held online using the Scripps online testing platform, and there will be a window open from Feb. 25 to 28 in which students can take an online spelling test.