Etnyre sixth grader Olivia Stafford lived up to the definition of the word she had to spell to take first place in the Oregon Elementary School's spelling bee last Friday.
With her heart in her throat, she calmly recited each letter of demonstrable—clinching the top spot at among 26 of her schoolmates.
"When I was standing up there I felt my heart pounding in my throat," she said. "This was my third year in the bee. I remember the words I misspelled each time before: droll and feud."
In the hour-long event, 26 students sat in chairs on the stage in the school's multi-purpose room that serves as the cafeteria, band room, and gym.
With Principal Ann Tilton serving as the official pronouncer, students tried spelling a variety of words with the option of having each word used in a sentence or defined if need be.
"The words are provided by the spelling bee people and it is the luck of the draw as far as each word you may get," explained Tilton before the start of the event. "You may get an easy word or you may get a hard word."
Each student stepped to the microphone wearing a name tag to receive their word. Nitpick, cloth, babies, and suspicion knocked out entrants at the mid-point of the match.
Students who advanced spelled ferocious, intricate, and vaporize correctly while others fell to suspicion, reign, exception, ambitious, and magnificent.
Fifty minutes into the match, Stafford, along with McAuley Humphrey and Trinity Zellers were left when Zellers misspelled elaborative.
After a few more rounds, Humphrey, a fourth grader, misspelled implicit and Stafford won with demonstrable.
"I just started shaking I was so nervous. I studied for a week," said Humphrey, smiling after the bee.
"You all did a great job. It was very nerve-wracking," Tilton told all the students.
Stafford advances to the regional spelling bee scheduled for Feb. 21 in Dixon.