Dominic Joyce and Joseph Tocci were crowned the winners of a student spelling bee held in Port Aransas on Saturday, Jan. 17.
Dominic, a fifth-grader, won a spelling competition that involved H.G. Olsen Elementary School students. Joseph, who is in seventh grade, won the Brundrett Middle School contest.
The bee was held before a live audience at Port Aransas High School’s Doyle Marek Gym.
Dominic and Joseph now are eligible to compete in the South Texas Regional Spelling Bee.
While the regional bee normally is held in-person at a location that’s open to the public, indications are that it will be administered through an online testing platform from March 6 to 9 this year.
“Although not an easy decision to make, as we know many of our students were looking forward to seeing other participants in-person, we have to think about keeping our students, staff and the community safe,” said a letter to Port Aransas ISD from an official involved in the regional bee.
While virtual events often have replaced in-person events due to COVID concerns over the past few years, the letter to Port Aransas ISD didn’t mention the possibility of disease being spread or otherwise explain the safety concerns.
The South Jetty’s phone messages left with a South Texas Regional Spelling Bee organizer haven’t been returned.
Winners of regional bees may compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, scheduled for May 31 to June 2 in Washington D.C.
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