Phelps wins 6th-annual Adult Spelling Bee


WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — On Friday evening, the sixth-annual Adult Spelling Bee was held at the Adena Fayette Medical Arts Building 2, sponsored by Carnegie Public Library.

Local resident, Emily Phelps, was this year’s winner.

Library director Sarah Nichols Frump was the narrator, and the prior reigning champion, Sara Smith, and recent past champion, Wendy Smalley, were two of the participants, along with 14 other entrants.

The judges were Leigh Cannon, Fayette County Health Commissioner, Kay Oughterson, a retired teacher, and Washington C.H. City Manager Joe Denen was the pronouncer of the words to the participants.

Each entrant was given three helper-cards — “phone a friend,” “no thanks” and “write it down” — to use during their spelling challenge. Some of the participants used some or all of these these cards as the words got more difficult.

After the list of 175 pre-chosen words was used, a second list of around 10 much harder words went into play. In the final round, after both those lists were completed, Denen opened the Medical Dictionary on the table for the final two words to determine the champion. When Denen opened the dictionary to choose a word, he said, “Unfortunately there are illustrations in here which I will ignore,” and the crowd laughed.

Second place winner was Amy Nestor, wife of local Dr. John Nestor. Amy Nestor is a teacher at Cherry Hill Primary School. In the final round, she used her “phone a friend” card to call her daughter, Sarah Lane, for the spelling of “antediluvian,” which is a time in the Bible meaning “before the flood” in the time of Noah’s ark. The word was spelled correctly and she moved into the final round.

Amy Nestor’s last word, which she missed, was “gesellschaft,” which means social relationships based on duty or obligation to a society or organization.

Phelps, the final entrant, used her “no thanks” card on her second-to-last word, and then became the champion, spelling her last word correctly.

One of the participants was Dr. Mary Jo Kendrick, wife of ABC Channel 6 evening anchor Bob Kendrick. Mary Jo is a practicing dermatologist. Kendrick was able to run through all the medical terms with ease and assisted Denen in the pronunciation of a couple difficult medical terms for other entrants. When asked about her participation, Kendrick said, “It couldn’t BEE better! I came to Fayette County tonight just for the event. It is so wonderful to promote continuous lifetime learning.”

The other participants were Tristan O’Grady, Mandy Miller, Dianna Wayne, Denise Johnson, Sylvia Call, Mary Lee Daughtery, Dr. Tom Bailey, Lloyd Luikart, Joanna Stitt, Robert Stitt, and Sarah Jacobson.

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