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Newton County Theme School at Ficquett eighth-grader Ralph Brown was crowned Newton County School System’s Super Speller when he took first place honors at the district Spelling Bee on Friday, February 7. He will now represent Newton County Schools in the Regional Spelling Bee in Putnam County on Saturday, March 1. Indian Creek Middle School eighth-grader Jessi Books was this year’s runner-up.

Spelling Bee winners from each elementary and middle school in the county competed in the competition, held at Newton High School. After almost 10 rounds of competition, the pool was narrowed down to two finalists—Brown and Books. When Books finally stumbled on the word, “bizarre”, Brown stepped to the microphone and spelled the word correctly. He then spelled “pyrotechnics” correctly, and was pronounced champion of the Newton County School System Spelling Bee!

“I was kind of anxious because I knew there might be a long back and forth between two spellers, but I was also a little releived,”  said Brown. “I knew that we both would be going home with a trophy.”

Brown added, “I knew instantly that I won when I heard the word pyrotechnics because I knew I knew how to spell it.”

To prepare for the Bee, Brown said he studied spelling lists, worked on word puzzles and completed online tests. In addition his parents would call out words for him to spell.  

“I feel like all of the preparation I have done has paid off because now I get to take home this big trophy,” said Brown.

As the Newton County winner, Brown will now represent the county at the Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 10 a.m. at Putnam County Elementary School in Eatonton, Georgia.

“Spelling is an important skill to have,” said Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “I’m very proud of all of the participants of our Spelling Bee. They are each school champions and should be very proud of that accomplishment. Ralph and Jessi both did an excellent job and should be commended for not only their spelling ability but for their composure in such a nail-biting finish to the Spelling Bee. Each one had the chance to win. They truly represented their schools well. Now it’s on to the Regional Bee for Ralph and I wish him the best of luck. I know he will make Newton County Schools proud!”

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, Director of Public Relations for Newton County Schools, at