Frankfort High School hosted the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee for the first time Saturday in the auxiliary gymnasium. However, when the dust had settled, Jashun Paluru of Battle Ground Middle School won his third straight title when he correctly spelled the word ‘portulaca’ in the finals to defeat Kaia Webb of Southwestern Middle School.
A total of 40 spellers in grades four through eight completed in the Bee, including Brenton Wood of Frankfort Middle School and Julieta Stephens of Suncrest Elementary School.
Community Schools of Frankfort Assistant Superintendent Joel McKinney was happy with the way things turned out.
“It was a lot of fun,” said McKinney. “It was great to see the 40 spellers from the 10-county region come out to Frankfort and get to experience Frankfort High School and all this community has to offer.”
McKinney was also happy with the community support, especially Superintendent Don DeWeese and CSF Board Member Karen Sutton, who both served as judges for the event.
Both Paluru and Webb survived 14 rounds of words before entering the final round.
Portulaca is a type of genus of the flowering plant family Portulacaceae which comprises about 40-100 species found in the tropics and warm temperature regions. They are also known as ‘moss roses.’
The 10-county region consists of Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Tippecanoe, Warren and White Counties.
Paluru, along with a parent or legal guardian, earned a paid trip to Washington D.C. to represent this region in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. He also received a new Third New International Dictionary donated by Mirriam-Webster.