Madison County School’s Spelling Bee winners from December gathered at the District Office on Wednesday, Jan. 28 to participate in the 2015 District Spelling Bee. Students in grades fourth through eighth and coming from Greenville Elementary, Latma Christian Academy, Lee Elementary, Madison Academy, Madison County Central and Pinetta Elementary Schools competed for a first or second place trophy and a chance to travel to Jacksonville to participate in the Regional Spelling Bee that will take place on Feb. 21. Only students from grades fifth through eighth were eligible to advance to the Regional Spelling Bee. Fourth grade students participated in an “unofficial” spell-off to help prepare them for next year when they will be eligible. School Superintendent Doug Brown welcomed the parents and friends of participants, who packed the boardroom, speaking briefly before handing over the podium to Jan McHargue, the District Spelling Bee Coordinator and Madison County High School’s Media Specialist Susanne Griffin, who pronounced words for the spell-off. The fifth-eighth graders were up first, and some tough words eliminated several of the group of 21, eventually eliminating students down to the first place winner and runner-up. Charlene Medders from the Central School took first place from Madison Academy’s Abigayle Reeves with the word “slaughter.” Medders is now eligible to attend the Regional Spelling Bee in Jacksonville in February at the 71st Annual Times Union Media event. Reeves, who competed admirably, will be Medders’ stand-in if she becomes unable to make the trip. After a short break, the fourth grade participants were up. With only 10 students, the group competed hard, going 25 rounds before a winner and runner-up was established. In the end, the winner was Riley Browning from Madison Academy who won with the word “ghastly.” Runner-up was Talyric Bonner from the Central School. If Medders wins at the regional level she will continue on to the National Spelling Bee that will take place the week of May 24.