The fifth-sixth grade spelling team from Hinesburg Community School

Clockwise from top, Makayla Johnson, William Wallace, Piper Thompson, Gigi Provost, Stephanie Miskavage and Sophie Frost, the fifth-sixth grade spelling team from Hinesburg Community School won district and regional competitions and came in fourth at the state competition.

Call them A-W-E-S-O-M-E. The Hinesburg Community School fifth-sixth grade spelling team went to the state competition and performed flawlessly in their published list words.

In sports lingo, HCS was tied for the lead after regulation, but came in fourth in overtime.

In the bonus-words rounds, which involves words that teams haven’t been given previously, HCS came in fourth in the state at the Vermont Principals’ Association at Northfield Middle School Saturday, Nov. 16.

They finished behind the fifth-sixth grade teams from Main Street Middle School (Montpelier), NewBrook Elementary (Newfane) and Cambridge Elementary.

Team spelling is different than spelling bees because competitors don’t stand up individually to spell. The spellers sit as a team of six and spell one at a time, first through sixth speller for each team.

“The middle schoolers themselves have voluntarily worked quite hard since the second week of school, even missing recess at least once a week,” Spelling Coach, Kristin Miskavage, who is a parent volunteer, said in an email.

The HCS fifth-sixth grade team won the district and regional titles to make it to the state competition. The team consisted of Sophie Frost, Makayla Johnson, Stephanie Miskavage, Gigi Provost, Piper Thompson and William Wallace.

The seventh-eighth grade team came in second at district competition on Oct. 10, falling to winner Williston by 2 points. The HCS seventh-eighth grade team members were Luke Broussard, Pat Frazier, Jora Kring, Veronica Miskavage, Vivian Volzer and Annalise Wood.

Miskavage said that the teams had practiced at least two times a week, for 30-40 minutes at a time, for 10 weeks.

She said words that the HCS spellers handled included: adolescent, campaign, ensuing, futilely, trifle, clamorous, embarrass, astronaut, shrieking, glacier, infiltrate, sacrifice, pageant, specimen, burial and arbitrate. But words that tripped them up in the bonus round were: ensuing, futilely, clamorous and arbitrate.

For the record, this newspaper eschews any hypothesis that this consequence was anything other than a phenomenal coup and a harbinger of weightier attainments in the future.

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