Porter County Top Fifth Grade Spellers Compete

By: Liz Powers Last Updated: May 10, 2012

Memorial Elementary School student Rina Vasilarakis spelled her way to championship at the Porter County Spelling Bee for fifth graders on Wednesday night. Rina, daughter of John and Eva Vasilarakis, correctly spelled both “accelerate” and “occasional” during the final round of the bee to edge out Marcel McCormick, son of Arthur and Janie Geary and representing George Myers Elementary. Rina and Marcel battled proper spelling with 21 other fifth graders from across the county.

“Tonight is a night for young people to shine,” said Biff Geiss, a former educator and representative of sponsor Valparaiso Sunrise Kiwanis. “All of our competitors tonight are champions of their home schools. Everyone here is already a winner.”

The top speller from each elementary school fifth grade advanced to the Porter County Spelling Bee to represent his or her school and vie for the title of county champion. Each had to try to spell words like “cornea” and “sophomore” while tricky words, such as “roommate” and “correspondence,” were also on the list.

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2012 Porter County Spelling Bee
Fifth Grade Participants

Logan Czaja, Morgan Township Elementary
Alyssa Drever, Thomas Jefferson Elementary
Michelle Edgington, Porter Lakes Elementary
Madison Fielder, Liberty Intermediate
Caleb Finch, Ethel Jones Elementary
Ethan Fickle, Kouts Elementary
Bailee Gardner, Aylesworth Elementary
Sam Goldman, Central Elementary
Trent Keppen, Westchester Intermediate
April Kinman, Cooks Corners Elementary
Teresa Lansdowne, Flint Lake Elementary
Marcel McCormick, George Myers Elementary
Daniel Owens, Northview Elementary
Carolina Papoca, Parkview Elementary
Jessica Plinovich, St. Patrick Catholic
Sydney Ruiz, Rowena Kyle Elementary
Matthew Sears, Washington Township Elementary
Morgan Seay, South Haven Elementary
Blake Smith, Hayes Leonard Elementary
Hannah Thomas, John Simatovich Elementary
Garrett Spoor, Union Center Elementary
Rina Vasilarakis, Memorial Elementary
Lauren Yates, Hebron Elementary

2012 Porter County Spelling Bee
Judges

Zach Albers
Betty Brown
Greg Karas
Stacey Schmidt