Julia Lollis, winner of this year’s CCS Scripps spelling bee, with co-principals Stephanie Sumner and Jen Roth.

Say the word, spell it, then say it again: this is the mantra for all participants in the Charlotte Central School Scripps Spelling Bee. It’s a simple directive, but add an audience, a microphone, nerves, and fierce competition, and it becomes more intense than any sporting event you’ve ever seen. After three rounds with not a student making a mistake, you could tell it was going to be a fierce one.

Julia Lollis, grade four, who, during a practice session, kept asking for harder words because they were all too easy for her, won the school-wide bee. She beat 18 other students from grades three through 8. She goes on to the regional competition in Vermont this month.

These winners of their grade spelling bees competed in the school-wide Scripps spelling bee at CCS on February 19.