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From Left front: Guy Grimbeek, Happy Valley School, Kaitlyn Ackley, Granite Falls Middle, and Anita Thao, Gamewell Middle School (from left back) Principals: Adam Windmiller, Happy Valley School; Chris Ackerman, Granite Falls Middle; and Jennifer Dineen, Gamewell Middle School
courtesy of Libby A Brown Community Services Director/ Public Information Officer

Caldwell County Schools Student Wins District Wide Spelling Bee

On Tuesday, January 23, 2024 Caldwell County Schools Spelling Bee showcased the exceptional spelling abilities of middle school students in grades 6-8. After seven rounds of spelling challenges, Anita Thao, an eighth grader at Gamewell Middle School, emerged victorious.

Anna Crooks, Middle School Director said, “We are excited to recognize and celebrate our students’ accomplishments in this year’s event, their hard work and commitment to honing their language skills have truly paid off.”

After the eight participants tackled difficult words, such as “arable, bilge, and propitious,” Kaitlyn Ackley, Granite Falls Middle eighth-grader, prevailed to secure the runner-up position, and Guy Grimbeek, an eighth grader representing Happy Valley School, finished third.

In addition to the top three finalists, the following students competed in this year’s spelling bee: Izabella Lewis, Caldwell Online Academy; Charli Wood, Collettsville School; Kove Lewis, Kings Creek School; Ava Philyaw, Hudson Middle School and Lillia Sherwood, William Lenoir Middle School.

As champion, Thoa secured a seat at the 2024 Carolina Panthers Regional Spelling Bee in March, presented by Bank of America.
The annual event, sponsored by the Education Foundation Inc. of Caldwell County, provides each participant with prize money. The Foundation awards trophies to the top three finishers and $100 to first place, $50 to second place, and $35 to third place. Participation earns a $10 merit prize, and all are given a certificate of recognition.

About Caldwell County Schools:
Caldwell County Schools is a leading educational institution serving students in grades PreK-13 and dedicated to providing exceptional learning experiences. Committed to innovation, an inclusive environment, and academic excellence, the district serves as a cornerstone of the community’s educational growth and advancement with more than 1,800 employees and 10,000 students. For more information, visit