The winners of the 2019 Junior and Senior Spelling Bee, at the 50th Annual Covered Bridge Festival were announced after the competition on Saturday, Oct. 12. Students from a variety of Madison County school districts participated. Due to the weather, the Junior Division was moved inside the courthouse to compete. Gary Barker was the announcer for the bees.

The winner of the Junior Division, made up of grades 4-6, was Max Booton. In second place was William Swers. Third and fourth places went to Karter Campbell and Tyler de Leon, respectively. 

Junior Spelling Bee winners

Junior winners of the Covered Bridge Festival spelling bee included (from left) first-place winner Max Booton, William Sweers in second, Karter Campbell in third and Tyler de Leon in fourth. The students are pictured with Festival Royalty Mayumi Ameku and Rich Mills, as well as American State Bank representative Melissa Callstrom.

Booton, a Winterset fifth-grader, is a student of Mrs. Dinkla. His parents are Warren Booton and Jess Gibbons.

Sweers is a student of Ms. Kerbyson. The Earlham sixth-grader is the son of Dan and Terri Sweers.

Campbell is the son of Andy and Kristen Campbell, a fifth-grade student of Ms. Baxter in Earlham.

A Winterset sixth-grade student of Mrs. Karp, de Leon is the son of Margel de Leon.

Tricky words in the Junior Division included intrinsic, immense, evaluate and relentlessly.

Senior Spelling Bee winners

Senior spelling bee winners included (from left) Karly Christensen in fourth, Kaylee Courtney in third, Franklin Pastorino in second, Lillian Korkie in first place.

The Senior Division consisted of students from grades 7-9. Lillian Korkie took first place, while Franklin Pastorino claimed second. Third and fourth place were taken by Kaylee Courtney and Karly Christensen. 

Korkie is a Winterset seventh-grader, the daughter of John and Rebecca Korkie and a student of Kate Allen.

Pastorino is the son of Fabiola and Joe Pastorino. The Winterset eighth-grader is a student of Jill McDonald.

Courtney is also an eighth-grade student of McDonald. She is the daughter of Heather and David Courtney.

Christensen is a Winterset seventh-grade student of Carly Marten. She is the daughter of Troy and Kristin Christensen.

Senior spellers were tripped up by the words equivalent, geologist, alleviate and bureaucrat.

The 2019 annual spelling bee was conducted by the Winterset chapter of P.E.O. and sponsored by American State Bank (ASB). ASB provided the spelling bee prizes awarded to the winners of each division as well as a Covered Bridge Festival coin for each participant.