Blake Wins County Spelling Bee
Piggott Elementary School fifth grader Natalie Blake won the 2016 Clay County Spelling Bee, held Thursday, Jan. 14, at Rector High School. Second place went to Rector eighth grader Zane McNelley, after he was eliminated on the 56th word-"pulchritude." Blake then correctly spelled the word to take the county title and qualify for the upcoming state bee.
Blake, the daughter of Dr. Dennis and Stacey Blake, was one of three PES fifth graders to qualify for this year's county bee, after they swept the top three spots in the local event. The trio also did well in the county bee, with Madison Arenaz taking third place overall, and Shawn Hudson-Seegraves finishing just out of the top three. The Piggott alternate was sixth grader Skylar Johnson.
McNeeley will serve as first alternate to the state spelling bee from Clay County. It's set for 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, in Reynolds Auditorium, on the campus of UCA at Conway. The other participants from Rector were Landon Haywood and Adam Romine and the alternate was Devin Brown.
Participants from Corning School District included Secily Eldridge, Sophia Townsend, Sirene Bollinger and alternate Illeanna Leonard.
As winner of the county bee, Blake was also recipient of a $100 cash prize courtesy of Piggott State Bank, and presented by Shawn Parker.