Alex Tan is FMS Spelling Bee champ

“Edadame” and “consumption” determined the winner for the 2017 Farragut Middle School spelling bee winner, Alex Tan.

When the eight-grader correctly spelled edadame and then correctly spelled consumption, on the 26th round, Alex, 13, won the school’s spelling bee in the school Wednesday, Jan. 25. Close on his heels, Eryin Kim, an 11-year-old sixth grader, won runner up. Eryin is the daughter of Hyun Kim and E.J. Kim.

Third place went to Will Tucker, a 13-year-old eighth-grader.

While nervous, Alex, son of Lizhen Tan and Yingyang Tan, said he felt better than he did 10 minutes before he won.

“I didn’t think I would win,” he said. Alex said he tried out for the spelling bee because a friend had dared him to compete. As winner of the school, he will go on to compete in the News Sentinel Southern Appalachia Regional Spelling Bee Saturday, March 4, on The University of Tennessee campus, Knoxville.

“We started off with each English and language arts teacher selecting four students in their classes,” Sarah Mayer, an eight-grade ELA teacher and spelling bee coordinator along with Ches Betz, who also is a literacy coach and testing coordinator.

“We had 45 students who went through the elimination process,” Mayer said. “That [process] narrowed it down to 16 students in the school.

In addition to Alex, Eryin and Will, the other students who competed were: Kate Cho, Freya Cordell, Cathlene Horwege, Abigail Lee, Rena Liu, Jacob Nieman, Sola Oladosu, Amelia Palmer, Ainslee Rogers, Kyle Schram, Dylan Stackhouse, Emma Tarditi and Meghan Tucker.

“[The spelling bee] went pretty quickly, actually,” Mayer said. “We got it all done in an hour. The students were respectful and polite.”

Then Alex and Eryin vied for the win for another 20 minutes, spelling words back and forth.