Emily Bartleson, a fifth-grader at Johnson Elementary School, confidently spelled "gunnysack" and "macaroni" to take the spelling championship at the 2016 Floyd County Schools Spelling Bee, The system's annual spell-off was held on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 9 a.m. at the Floyd County Schools central office. Ashton Fox, an seventh-grader at Model Middle School, was the runner-up in the competition. YouTube video of win
Bartleson worked the word pronouncer for clues to spell the first word as she requested a definition and the word origin before correctly spelling gunnysack. Bartleson credited her success to help from her parents. She said, “My mom and dad quizzed me with spelling words and that is really how I prepared.” Bartleson had a shocked expression on her face when it was announced that she had won the Spelling Bee. “I never thought I could do it,” she said.
Bartleson may have lacked confidence in her spelling ability but there is family history of excellent spellers. Her sister Leah participated in the system competition last year as Johnson’s champion and her brother Aaron was in the spell-off representing the school in 2013. After having taken the spelling title at Johnson for three of the last four years, other children at Johnson can take heart that there are no younger brothers or sisters in the Bartleson family. “It has been fun watching our kids participate over the years,” said Jonathan Bartleson, Emily’s father. “Tina and I made a decision years ago not to have cable TV in our house, which I think contributed to our kids becoming voracious readers.” He added, “I really appreciate the support my children get from their teachers at Johnson.”
As the winner of the spelling title, Emily Bartleson received a plaque and certificate recognizing her accomplishment. She will represent Floyd County Schools in the District Spelling Bee to be held on Saturday, February 27 at 10 a.m. in the Lakeview building at Georgia Highlands College. Ashton Fox will serve as an alternate to the district competition.
School spelling champions participating in the Floyd County Spelling Bee were: Josh Askew, Alto Park; Ivey Whitaker, Armuchee Elementary; Virginia Nash, Armuchee Middle; Kirah Wertheimer, Cave Spring Elementary; Maggie Brooks, Coosa Middle; Christina Coots, Garden Lakes Elementary; Emily Bartleson, Johnson Elementary; Sarah Vasser, Model Elementary; Ashton Fox, Model Middle; Sireniti Lajoie, Pepperell Elementary; and Anna Crowe, Pepperell Middle.