Ankum wins top spelling honors

Published 3:34 am Monday, February 7, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
While Tiara Ankum seemed shy after the County Spelling Bee, her spelling spoke volumes.
Ankum, an eighth grader at Escambia County Middle School, won the Escambia County Spelling Bee held Thursday morning in the library at ECMS.
Asia Sullivan, a fifth grader at W.S. Neal Elementary, was the runner-up. Also competing in the bee were Robert Stokes of Brewton Elementary School, Breanne Bryant of Brewton Middle School and Travis Pruitt and Shelby Carter of Atmore Christian School.
While Ankum was a bit overwhelmed following her win, she was very excited.
"I'm very happy," Ankum said. "I spent a lot of time studying for this."
After Asia Sullivan incorrectly spelled "execution," Ankum had to correctly spell two words in order to win. She correctly spelled "commitment" and "vindicate" to win the contest.
Leola Shufford, a sixth grade reading/English teacher at ECMS and Ankum's sponsor in the spelling bee was moved close to tears at Ankum's accomplishment.
"If I could describe it in one word it would be 'fantastic'," Shufford said. "I'm so proud of Tiara. Not only am I happy for her, but I'm happy for our school. We needed this."
Mary Bess Powell, Federal Program/Elementary Supervisor for the Escambia County School System, served as moderator during the spelling bee.
"The kids did a great job," Powell said. "They were well prepared. I also think it reflects well on the county school system to have a child from the county schools win. In the past, Brewton City Schools have won more often than not."
Ankum will go on to compete in the Birmingham Post-Herald Alabama Spelling Bee on March 12 at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

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