VAN WERT — Sandra Freeman, Coordinator for Gifted Education for the Western Buckeye ESC, announced that the 2018 Journal Gazette Van Wert County Spelling Bee will be held on Monday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. in the Marsh School Foundation Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Thirteen contestants representing seven Van Wert County schools, grades 5-8, will compete for the honor of representing the county in the Journal Gazette Regional Spelling Bee presented by STAR Financial Bank in Fort Wayne, Indiana on March 3. The winner of the Regional contest will go on to compete in the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

Individual school champions are:

Crestview Elementary - Michaela Debbe, Grade 5

Crestview Middle School - Tayla Myers, Grade 6, Wesyn Ludwig, Grade 7, and Allison Dingus, Grade 8

Lincolnview Elementary - Bennett Kill, Grade 5 and Samantha Schotters, Grade 6

Lincolnview Junior High - Emma Klausing, Grade 7 and Una VanWynsberghe, Grade 8

St. Mary of the Assumption School - Angela Mendoza, Grade 5

Van Wert Elementary - Sophie Gearhart, Grade 5

Van Wert Middle School - Lyndsey Heath, Grade 6, Lauren Black, Grade 7 and Meghan Jensen, Grade 8.

Doug Grooms, Special Services Coordinator for the Van Wert City Schools will be the pronouncer.

Judges for the Spelling Bee are Mark Bagley, Principal, Van Wert Middle School, Dan Metzger, Principal, St. Mary of the Assumption School and Kathy Mollenkopf, Principal, Crestview Elementary School.

Robbie Breese, Principal at the Marsh Foundation School, is in charge of the physical arrangements.

Van Wert Federal Savings Bank is sponsoring the awards for the event, which include cash awards for the top three finishers and plaques for all the contestants.

Contestants are reminded to report to the Marsh Foundation School Library at 6:30 on Feb. 5.

For additional information, contact Freeman at the Western Buckeye ESC by calling 419-399-4711, or by emailing her at