MONCKS CORNER — Hayley Durant’s experience Thursday at the Berkeley County School District’s spelling bee was didactic.
To win the countywide contest, the Westview Middle School eighth-grader, who said she has been winning school spelling bees since second grade, correctly spelled “didactic,” which means designed or intended to teach.
“I’ve been here like four years and I always get like fourth or something,” said Hayley, the daughter of Michael and Jenny Durant of Goose Creek. “I studied like five hours yesterday, and it helped today.”
She said she didn’t find any of the words she spelled — egalitarian, staccato, pyre or eulogy — particularly difficult.
Cane Bay Middle seventh-grader Joseph Ebai was the runner-up after being eliminated on the word “phenomenon.” Hayley went on to spell that correctly before spelling the winning word.
“It was nerve-racking, especially when I had to spell phenomenon,” said Joseph, who was making his first appearance at the bee.
Hayley, Joseph and 10 other top finishers will advance to Spellbound!, the Lowcountry’s regional spelling bee, which is sponsored by The Post and Courier.
They are (in order of finish) Hayley; Joseph; Dione Williams, Sedgefield Middle; Regina Bistromowitz, Sangaree Middle; Garrett Heger, Berkeley Middle; Gabriel Wadford, Macedonia Middle; Claire Conway, Daniel Island School; Laj’ai Reed, St. Stephen Middle; Brianna Lundblad, Cane Bay Middle; Hannah O, Daniel Island School; Daniel McBane, Hanahan Middle; and Kayla Stone, Hanahan Middle.
The competition will be at 7 p.m. March 6 in Lightsey Chapel at Charleston Southern University and will include 50 finalists representing Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester 2, Dorchester 4, Colleton County, Lowcountry Catholic Schools, the South Carolina Independent School Association and Lowcountry Home and Private Schools. The winner of Spellbound! will get an all-expenses-paid trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, May 26 through June 1 in Washington, D.C.