SOUTH WHITLEY — Each year, students from both Pierceton and South Whitley Elementary schools participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
At South Whitley Elementary School, Cliff Hawkins earned the top honors, followed by Ciera Leughmyer in second place. The third-place spot went to Keeli Dennis. At Pierceton, Cale Bennett returned as champion after earning the title in 2017. Bennett topped runner-up Taylor Long.
The winning students from both schools will now progress to the next level of the spelling bee. Winners will compete at the county level. Because PES and SWE are located in separate counties, there is little chance Hawkins and Bennett will have an opportunity to spell against one another unless they both successfully win their respective tournaments. Leughmyer and Taylor will have the honor of replacing their school’s champions if for some reason Hawkins and Bennett are unable or unwilling to compete.