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On Saturday, November 21, the HUMS seventh- and eighth-grade spelling team competed at Northfield High School for the 2009-10 Vermont Principal's Association Regional Spelling Competition state championship title.
Competing schools included Barre Town, Manchester Middle School and Edmunds Middle School -- each winners of their regional competitions held a few weeks prior to the event. After 12 grueling rounds, Harwood emerged as the winner and the new Vermont State Spelling Team Champions. Coached by Judi Gross of Waitsfield, the team consists of eighth-graders Sophie Rayfield, Sarah Hoyne, Nathanial Kazlow and Morgan Becker, as well as seventh-graders Ray Parker and Katy Rosen. English teacher Jacki McCarty is the Harwood faculty advisor for the team and Coach Gross' assistant.
The team faced some challenging words like "dichotomy," "paraphernalia," "excision" and "ostentatious," yet each member kept their composure, spelling the vast majority of their given words correctly. A sea of black and gold filled an entire section of the Northfield auditorium and the cheering crowd slightly resembled that of a sporting event as scores were announced between rounds and Harwood consistently maintained the lead. The Harwood team finished with a score of 134, virtually blowing away the competition.
On Monday morning, the champions were honored at an HUMS assembly, where the plaque from the regional competition and the trophy from the state competition were presented and displayed. They are available for viewing in the HUMS trophy case, located by the middle school office.
Unfortunately there is no national team competition for spelling as of yet, but the Harwood team will hold the Vermont State Regional Spelling Team Championship title for the academic year 2009-10.