There were six different schools participating, and each school had two representatives per grade. We drove Samantha and her classmate (as his parents sadly couldn't make it) to the bee, and it really worked out well. Samantha gets anxiety very badly, and so to have her friend in the car was a great distraction. I don't know if she didn't want to be embarrassed in front of her friend, or if she was just too distracted to be worried, but she was really calm the whole time! I think the prayers we said over them really helped too.
Here they are before the bee started.
These were their seats. All 12 were taken by the students...
Samantha spelled very well. She made it all the way to Round 14 before getting a word incorrect. Thankfully, at that point it was just her and one other boy. According to the rules, her competitor has to spell two words correctly to win. He spelled his first word correctly, but he missed the second.
So the bee continued!
Dave and I were on pins and needles.
During Round 16, the boy missed his word. Then Samantha spelled her word correctly.
Then she was given the winning word. "Stubborn". And I knew we had the victory. Sam and I had practiced this word over, and over, and over. So it came as no surprise that she spelled it correctly (with TWO bs).
I was so overjoyed and proud of my little girl! The look on her face when she won was absolutely priceless. She just couldn't stop grinning! And then when she heard that she got a trophy - that sent her over the moon.
Samantha's classmate did well too. He made it through Round 5, beating out four other kids.