Area’s top speller heads to D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two hundred and ninety three of the country’s best spellers are converging on Washington, D.C. this week for the 2009 Scripp’s National Spelling Bee. Among those competitors is Lea Davis, the Oxford Middle School student who earned her spot in the national event by outspelling the local competition at the Oneonta Regional Spelling Bee held in March.

Davis, an eighth grader at Oxford, said she had never competed in a spelling bee before winning first her grade level and then the school’s competition earlier this year.

Competing in the Oneonta competition was much different than being on her home stage, but according to her building principal, Kathleen Hansen, Davis appeared calm and was even smiling.

“It was a nervous smile,” said Davis, displaying a more genuine grin. Once she got on stage, however, she said those nerves disappeared.

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