Sheridan student Maya Hagen was named the 2013 Madison County Spelling Bee Champion on Monday following a special spell-off against Harrison student Isabella Arcangeli, resolving a judging error made at the county spelling bee on Wednesday.
Arcangeli was incorrectly named the winner of the county spelling bee in Alder on Wednesday after she and Hagen were the last two spellers in the fourth round. Hagen had a chance to win after Arcangeli missed her word, but she failed to spell what would have been the championship word correctly.
At this point a fifth round should have begun with both Hagen and Arcangeli, but Hagen was not given a word in this round. Arcangeli was given her word followed by another championship word, and was named the winner after spelling both words correctly.
Judges were notified of the error during the reception following the spelling bee, but the students from Harrison had already left by the time the judges table figured out where the mistake was made.
In the county commissioners’ conference room in Virginia City on Monday, Hagen and Arcangeli went another four rounds before Hagen spelled the championship word correctly in the fifth round.
This year’s spelling bee was the first for new Madison County Superintendent of Schools Melinda Legg, and she was glad to have the judging error resolved. Contestants ranged from fifth to eighth grades, and Legg said all the students who participated worked hard to make it to the county spelling bee.
“I think anything we do that encourages healthy competition in the academic realm is always a positive,” said Legg.