Spellers pit skills at finals

Nathaniel Jensen and Ashlee Gluyas were winners at the spelling bee.
Nathaniel Jensen and Ashlee Gluyas were winners at the spelling bee. John Gass

N-E-R-V-E-S were in the air at yesterday's NSW Premier's Spelling Bee regional finals held at Centaur Public School.

The event was attended by 71 eager students from all over the North Coast battling it out to win the title.

With tricky words like "oceanography" and "playwright" being flung around in the junior division, students were in for a tough contest.

The junior bee was won by Year Four Byron Bay Public School student Nathaniel Jensen with the winning word "porpoise".

"I had no idea, I just came and won," said an excited Nathaniel.

Proud mum Danina Jensen came into the spelling bee thinking whatever her son achieved was great, but didn't expect the win.

"I was nervous through the last moments; I couldn't believe he got them all right," she said.

Nathaniel uses a special technique to learn his words, but it's not without lots of practise.

Runner-up Ashlee Gluyas, a Mullumbimby Public School student, was tripped up in the final round by "sieve".

Unlike Nathaniel, Ashlee likes to freestyle with learning her spelling words.

"I have no technique. Daddy says I have a good memory. I just spell," Ashlee said.

Both students received Franklin Electronic Publishers' Spell Checkers and a Macquarie Budget Dictionary.

In the senior spelling bee, "diaphragm" was the winning word by Brody Pullinger from Bogangar Public School, with Kacey Watson from Urbenville Public School coming in second place.

Both winners will travel to Sydney in November for the state final to be held at the ABC Centre.

Topics:  competition school spelling students

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