‘Fiery’ wins Butsch the bee


GREENVILLE – Correctly spelling the word ‘fiery,’ Tri-Village sixth-grader Mekedes Butsch became the 2020 Darke County Spelling Bee District Competition Champion on Thursday afternoon..

The bee, held at Romer’s Catering, featured students in from the county’s elementary, middle school and junior high schools.

Butsch’s secret – reading.

“I read lots and lots of books,” the champion speller admitted.

Her advice to other students who want to participate in their school’s spelling bee – or just become good spellers: “Read lots of books and you’ll succeed. And gather lots of information from wherever you can get it.”

Butsch said the hardest word she was given on Thursday was ‘mosque.’

Along with the district title, Butsch, 11, won a trophy for her hard work. To qualify for state competition, she can opt to take an online test.

Earning second in the district bee was Colleen Hiestand, 14, an eighth-grader from Versailles Middle School. Third place went to Braeden Duff, 13, a seventh-grader from Bradford Junior High.

Serving as the spelling bee word pronouncer was Darke County Engineer Jim Surber who told the 16 students gathered on stage he considered them “all winners representing your schools in this age of auto-correct.”

Besides the top three winners, this year’s spelling bee participants included Amy Wright, Bradford Elementary; Lydia Ayette, Tri-Village Junior High; Judah Brooks Versailles Elementary; Truman Knaus, Arcanum Middle School; Christopher Shaltry, Greenville Junior High; Kaleb Hemp, Franklin Monroe Elementary; Lacey Bowers, Mississinawa Valley Junior High; Breanna White, Arcanum Elementary; Devon Mason, Greenville Middle School; Dalton Winterrowd, Franklin Monroe Junior High; Bryson Robinson, Ansonia Junior High; Bella Obringer, Ansonia Elementary; and Leelynd Brumbaugh, Mississinawa Valley Elementary.

Prior to the district bee, a team bowl competition was held, with Arcanum earning the top spot for the fifth year in a row.

Bowl participants included Jocelin Smith, Ansonia Elementary;Landon Perry, Ansonia Junior High, Maci Pechie, Arcanum Elementary; Liam Chadwick, Arcanum Middle School; Lance Miller, Bradford Elementary; Owen Beachler, Bradford Junior High; Mason Murrall, Franklin Monroe Elementary; Nate Good, Franklin Monroe Junior High; Jensen Oswald, Greenville Middle School; Ethan Beckley, Greenville Junior High; Gentry Newbauer, Mississinawa Valley Elementary; Dylan Wehrkamp, Mississinawa Valley Junior High; Grace Bergman, Tri-Village Elementary; Leana Metzcar, Tri-Village Junior High; Gabriel Meyer, Versailles Elementary; and Tori Tyo, Versailles Middle School.

The annual county bee is hosted by the Darke County Educational Services Center.

Serving as moderator was April Hoying; as roundkeeper, April Hoying, and as judges, Pat Wendel and Kelly Fourman.

Students, their guests and school staff in attendance enjoyed a lunch provided by Romer’s prior to the competition.


By Susan Hartley


Reach Managing Editor Susan Hartley at [email protected]

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