While the "breadth" of words to spell could have led to a "calamity," the students were far from "circumspect," and judges showed anything but "iniquity" as spellers showed their "initiative" in achieving their linguistic goals.

Pequot Lakes Middle School had 15 of its best and brightest students come together in a school classroom to show off their vocabulary skills with words such as those in quotations in the previous paragraph during the school district’s annual spelling bee Friday, Feb. 19, with a veteran of the contest standing tall at the end.

Eighth-grader Autumn Hecker was crowned school champion after correctly spelling “charlotte” and “eccentric” to end the school competition. Hecker was a grade-level champion in 2020 - and in 2021 as well - but claimed the school-wide prize in her final year.

Eighth-grader Lake Rowland ponders the proper spelling of "condominium" during the Pequot Lakes Middle School Spelling Bee on Friday, Feb. 19. Dan Determan / Echo Journal
Eighth-grader Lake Rowland ponders the proper spelling of "condominium" during the Pequot Lakes Middle School Spelling Bee on Friday, Feb. 19. Dan Determan / Echo JournalDan Determan / Echo Journal

Sixth-grader Grant Schlagel was the district runner-up, while eighth-grader Lake Rowland finished third. Rowland was the runner-up last year, as well as the grade level winner as a fifth- and sixth-grader.

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Hecker and Schlagel will compete next at the Regional Bee, which will be held virtually Wednesday, March 24.

Aside from Hecker, the other 2021 grade-level winners were Brekkin Glazier (fifth grade), Levi Winkka (sixth) and Jackson Wait-Learned (seventh). Winkka and Wait-Learned were both grade level winners last year as well.

Pequot Lakes Middle School Spelling Bee grade-level winners, from left: Autumn Hecker, Jackson Wait-Learned, Levi Winkka and Brekken Glazier. Dan Determan / Echo Journal
Pequot Lakes Middle School Spelling Bee grade-level winners, from left: Autumn Hecker, Jackson Wait-Learned, Levi Winkka and Brekken Glazier. Dan Determan / Echo JournalDan Determan / Echo Journal

The 15 spellers took shots at spelling words like “condominium,” “foolscap,” “marriageable,” “abstractum” and “corroborate.”

Others competing were Cayden Harper, Gus McKenna, Eli Martini, Kate Arellano, Jaxon Woodman, Carter Erickson, Gabe Wilson, Trenton Wilson and Madeleine Hoag.

Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or dan.determan@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan.