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Fenn School 5th grader is local spelling champ, heads to state bee

From the left, spelling champ Abbie Bernier, Coach Brooke Grondin, and runner-up Noah Fortin. Photo by Jeff Woodburn. (click for larger version)
March 01, 2012
GORHAM – By correctly spelling the word "fashion" Abbie Bernier, a Fifth grader at Gorham's Edward Fenn School, became her school's spelling champion. On March 3, she'll be off to Concord to compete in the newly formatted state spelling bee. Eleven year-old Abbie will compete with 600 other students at a daylong event. She is the daughter of Tim and Alison Bernier.

The runner-up this year was fourth grader Noah Fortin, son of James and Sharon Fortin. He got caught up on the word "sinus," but he assures that he "knows it now."

School Speech Pathologist Brooke Grondin, who is the school's spelling bee coach, praised the two students. "They're great kids, good spellers and hard workers." It's a lot more difficult than just spelling, she said, "There's a lot of stress." Grondin knows first-hand; she was the Fenn School's top speller in 1980. She went on to the state contest until she stumped by the word "steadfast."

Abbie and Noah both received a year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

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