Jackson’s students excel at State Spelling Bee; 6th Student Wins Crown – Buckrail


JACKSON, Wyo. – Claire Harris, a sixth-grader at Jackson Hole Classical Academy (JHCA), was recently named the 2021 Wyoming State Spelling Bee spelling champion. She will represent the state of Wyoming at the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee this summer.

A press release sent by a representative from Western Wyoming Community College said, “The 2021 Wyoming State Spelling Bee, sponsored by Western Wyoming Community College, took place on Saturday, March 20 through the Scripps online testing program. There were 73 spellings recorded that represented 14 counties across the state. The competition was tough with 25 spelling questions, 25 vocabulary questions and 30 minutes to complete the test. “

Harris was also the JHCA Academy Bee’s first place champion last January, competing against eight other students in Grades 1 through 8. Mr. Ben Walter, a teacher at JHCA, hosted the event with Mr. Ian Landis, Director of Admissions, who was one of the judges.

Claire Harris will represent the state of Wyoming at the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee this summer. Photo: JH Classical Academy

“I have been running the JHCA Academy Bee for the past five years and have been really impressed with Claire’s knowledge, as well as her composure. I am delighted that she has progressed so far and I have no doubts that she will succeed at the National Bee, ”said Walter.

Asked about her reaction to learning she won the State Bee, Harris said, “I was a little surprised when I won… because it was kind of a normal day for me honestly.”

“I like to spell bees. I studied for my class bee, the Academy Bee and the State Spelling Bee. The State Bee was really different because I wasn’t that nervous. I think it really helped that it was virtual because I was just home and not in front of a lot of people, ”she said.

Benjamin Weisman, a fourth-grader who attends Jackson’s Colter Elementary School, placed second in the State Bee. He was first tied with another student for second place, so a second round took place, which he then won. According to his mother, Erin Weisman, he was one of his school’s top five spelling graduates.

“While biased, I am truly proud of these Jackson children who have been nurtured and thriving in our public and private schools through a difficult year!” she said.

Porter Carson of Prairie Wind Elementary in Cheyenne, Wyoming was the third spelling. Each student received a gift basket of educational games, supplies and a monetary reward for their hard work, according to the press release.

According to the official Scripps website, the preliminary round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee will take place practically on Saturday, June 12. Ten-12 finalists from the prelims, quarterfinals and semi-finals will advance to the final competition, which will be held in person at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. On July 8. It will be broadcast live during prime time on ESPN2.

About the Jackson Hole Classical Academy: JHCA is a private, coeducational, Kindergarten to Grade 12 academy steeped in the tradition of classical and liberal arts. The program is designed to cultivate in students the wisdom, virtue, and love of learning, while giving them the tools and opportunities to think critically. Using the classic paradigm of grammar, logic and rhetoric – known as “trivium” – students learn in developmentally appropriate stages, each with its own purpose for the students.

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