2020 Spelling Bee

Oak Grove proves that spelling is not a lost art
Posted on 03/03/2020
Journey Warren

Oak Grove Elementary won the 11th annual Butler County Community Resource Council Spelling Bee Championship with two classmates vying for the top spot on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at Fox Radio Network.

Journey Warren was named the 2020 champion, spelling the 87th word v-o-r-t-i-c-e-s correctly over finalist, Clint Wallace, also of Oak Grove. Representing the other elementary schools were third graders Willem Thurston of Eugene Field, Brody Oatman of O’Neal and Miley Baker of Lake Road. 

Event moderator Kathern Harris of the CRC Children and Youth Succeeding in School Committee stressed that all the contestants were winners for making it to the championship upon competing in a three-week tournament at their respective schools. Oak Grove hosted an additional round in order to narrow its three-way tie down to two. 

Last year Oak Grove also sent two competitors to the spelling bee, which ended in a tie between Oak Grove and Lake Road after the finalists spelled all 190 words on the list correctly over the radio. This year the difficulty of the words was increased to a fifth grade level, according to Harris, who noted that some of the tie-breaking words were used in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

The spell-off was emceed by Dave Wyman of the Missouri Department of Transportation, who serves the CRC as a member of the Parents Working Committee. The spelling bee aired live on KYEC 88.3/98.3 FM, the radio’s nonprofit station. Fox Radio has been broadcasting the spelling bee since the event’s debut in 2010 to help raise the stakes and provide the students with a memorable experience, confirmed owner Steven Fuchs.


Cutline: Oak Grove third grader Journey Warren spells a word correctly over the radio while Kathern Harris of the CRC looks on.

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