Harwood Union has participated in the VPA team spelling competitions since their inception, but this was the first year that Harwood also hosted the competition.
Harwood co-principal and site manager Lisa Atwood organized the bee as well as the concession stand, where coffee, water and snacks could be purchased with proceeds to support Harwood student activities. The four competing teams arrived at Harwood on Saturday morning, November 2, to compete for the regional title. Participating were Barre Town School, North Country Middle School, Fairfield Central School and host team Harwood Union Middle School, led by veteran spelling team coach Judi Gross.
HUMS team members include Isabel Carr, Erin Magill, Isabel Jamieson, Noah Carr and Brandon Magill. The pronouncer for the regional spelling competition was Jacki McCarty, joined by spelling judges Joanne Collins, Carla Bell and Ginger Becker. Lisa Atwood emceed, welcomed the audience and acclimated them to the facilities before introductions.
The competition was tough and few non-challenge words were missed. The three top teams were within two points of each other for the first eight rounds. Ultimately Fairfield Central School took the competition by a margin of four points – one bonus word. HUMS and North Country tied for second place, a mere word behind the champions.
Coach Gross was extremely proud of how the team performed, though they did not get as far as they had hoped. Fairfield will move on to compete in the VPA Spelling Team State Competition on November 16.