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‘Membranous’ trips up Sherron for S.D. spelling bee title
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

April 09. 2013 9:20AM
She can spell it backwards, sideways and upside down on any given day.

But on March 23, “membranous” was the word that took Brandon Valley eighth grader out of contention for the USD Scripps Spelling Bee title.

This was third time that Brandon Valley’s Lexis Sherron earned the right to take aim at the state title. But after battling through 39 rounds, Max Oesterling of Custer, correctly spelled “pronouncement” to win the oral competition and the right to represent South Dakota at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., May 26-31.

“I’m glad with how I did,” says Sherron, a two-time champ and one-time runner-up at Brandon Valley Middle School. Sherron’s spelling bee success continued beyond the halls of Brandon Valley though. She also took first at the regional level in 2011 and 2012, and was this year’s runner-up, and finished second in 2011 and fourth at last year’s state bee. “Everyone’s telling me how extraordinary it is about how far I made it.”

Dan Pansch, principal of Brandon Valley Middle School, said Sherron’s ability to qualify for the state competition three years in a row is quite an accomplishment in itself.

“She’s a real competitor in this,” he said.

Sherron said this year’s state competition, which went on for more than 90 minutes – was especially nerve-racking.

“I wanted it to end,” she said. “And there were a lot of people saying they thought it would never end.”

As Sherron moves on to Brandon Valley High School next year, she leaves behind a successful spelling bee experience.

“I don’t know what there all is in high school but I’m really interested in debate and quiz bowl,” she says. “But this was a three-year journey.”
Finishing third to Oesterling and Sherron, was Adele Benoit, a seventh grader at Sacred Heart Middle School, Yankton. Additional participants included Carolyn Blaha, a seventh grade student from Wagner Community School; Whitney Fuerst, eighth grader at Tripp-Delmont; Emily Fox, seventh grade, Spearfish Classical Christian School; Luke Norby, third grader at Dakota Valley Elementary School, McCook Lake; Maria Braga-Henebry, eighth grade, Garretson; Genesis Reynolds, seventh grader, South Middle School, Rapid City; Maddy Gillett, eighth grade, Sioux Falls Christian; and Connor Lightfield, eighth grader at Milbank Middle School.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is administered on a not-for-profit basis by the E.W. Scripps Company and local spelling bee sponsors in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe; also, the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. The competition is open for students in first grade through the eighth grade.

Brandon Valley eighth grader Lesix Sherron (center) was the runner-up of the USD Scripps Spelling Bee. Max Oesterling of Custer is the 2013 champion, and Adele Benoit of Sacred Heart Middle School in Yankton was third. This was Sherron's third and final attempt at the state spelling bee title. Submitted photo

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