Jason Burdette, a fifth-grader at Adairsville Elementary, won the spelling bee and will be representing Bartow County at the regional spelling bee in Rome on Feb. 26. The winner of the regional spelling bee will go on to represent their county at the state competition in Atlanta and the winner of the state competition will go on to compete in the national competition in Washington, D.C.
"My mom helped with everything," Burdette said. "We went through the study packet every day."
Burdette stood through several rounds of spelling words increasing in difficulty. He won the competition by spelling "sensibility."
"I'm surprised that I won," Burdette said. "I expected just to get to the first round."
"I'm proud of (Burdette) for being so humble," his mother Margo Burdette said.
If Burdette is unable to represent Bartow schools in the regional spelling bee, runner up Savannah Jones -- a fifth-grader from Coverleaf Elementary -- will take his place.
Dot Frasier, Executive Director of the Bartow Education Foundation and Assistant Coordinator for special events, has helped with the spelling bee since 1960.
She said the spelling bee is an important event in the lives of students and hopes to continue with the tradition.
"These students may not remember what they learned in school yesterday," Frasier said, "but they will never, ever forget today."
Superintendent John Harper expressed that the annual spelling bee is a reflection of Bartow County schools' commitment to excellence.
"This is certainly an outstanding curriculum for (the students) to be able to participate in this auditorium in front of you," Harper said.
After recognizing the judges, coordinators and other individuals who assisted with making the spelling bee possible, Harper recognized the students.
"The real star of the show is this group of students on stage," Harper said
Participants in the 2011 Bartow County Spelling Bee:
Adairsville Elementary -- Jason Burdette
Adairsville Middle -- Jacob Smith
Allatoona Elementary -- Heidi Hicks
Cass Middle -- Hannah Arents
Clear Creek Elementary -- Annika Stronen
Cloverleaf Elementary -- Savannah Jones
Emerson Elementary -- Carah Camron
Euharlee Elementary -- Toby Queen
Hamilton Crossing Elementary -- Noah Bishop
Kingston Elementary -- Grant Morris
Mission Road Elementary -- Jenna Ross
Pine Log Elementary -- Maddox Teems
South Central Middle -- Jordan Farist
Taylorsville Elementary -- Ezra Petron
White Elementary -- Anna Marie King
Woodland Middle -- Andrew Morgan