Seven proved to be a lucky number on Saturday as the Thomas Jefferson Middle School Spell Bowl team captured its seventh consecutive state championship during the Indiana Association of School Principals - Junior Division Academic Spell Bowl State Finals at Purdue University. All 8 spellers from Team TJ correctly penned stumpers including vicissitude, porphyry, abattoir,beleaguerment, haranguing, asceticism, demurrage, and 65 others on their way to a perfect score of 72.
Captain Branton Kai was aided in the blue medal effort by teammates Joey Lavalley, Joe McMurtrey, Grace Tam, Antonio Rosario, Jackson Dreher, Isabel Pati, and Abigail Pati. Supporting members of Team TJ cheered from the audience: Ryan Janoski, Haley Klein, Anna Lavalley, Sean Murley, Lily O'Quinn, Erin Rockhill, Lauren Skadberg, Colin Thompson, and Lauren Thompson.
The TJMS Spell Bowl team has garnered the championship banner 10 of the last 12 years. Team TJ is coached by Linda Kemper and Jane Strayer, who asked the team for a blue birthday present again this year. The team happily and proudly delivered.
Photo: Front: Colin Thompson, Jackson Dreher, Anna Lavalley, Antonio Rosario, Lauren Thompson. Middle: Isabel Pati, Lauren Skadberg, Joey Lavalley, Lily O'Quinn (holding plaque), Haley Klein, Branton Kai, Ryan Janoski. Back: Coach Jane Strayer, Abigail Pati, Grace Tam, Erin Rockhill, Sean Murley, Joe McMurtrey, Coach Linda Kemper. Lavalley Photo