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Young Lewis County spellers featured at fair

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LOWVILLE — Anna Exford was nowhere near the “bottom” when she successfully spelled that word during Friday’s annual Lewis County Fair spelling bee.

In fact, that word propelled the Lowville Academy and Central School student to victory in the grades one and two contest.

Anna said afterward that she was happy with the results.

Her father, Lowville Middle School Principal Scott D. Exford, was, as well.

“Very excited,” said Mr. Exford, who was a judge at the regional spelling bee at General Brown Central School, Dexter. “We’re very proud of her. It’s a good experience to get in front of a crowd like that.”

Anna said she practiced for the contest by reviewing online word lists with her mother, Jessica.

Second- and third-place finishers in the grades one and two contest were Madison Trainham from Copenhagen and Isaac Aubel from Lowville, respectively.

Students from the Beaver River, Copenhagen, Lowville and South Lewis central school districts and River Valley Mennonite School and home schoolers participated Friday in four different grade-level competitions.

In grades three and four, Peyton Smith of Beaver River took the title, while Colton Olinger of Beaver River took second and Emma Dening of Lowville took third.

In grades five and six, Morgan Feisthamel of South Lewis won, followed by Adrianna Bodruck from Copenhagen and Dawson Gerdon of Beaver River.

And in grades seven and eight, home school student Paul Jennings took the crown, followed by Ruth Haldeman from River Valley and Elizabeth Wood from South Lewis.

Dawn D. Ludovici, Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services assistant superintendent and the spelling bee master of ceremonies, said the annual contest provides students with an opportunity to stand in front of a crowd — albeit in a more relaxed atmosphere than other bees — and show their knowledge.

“It’s a great family event,” she said.

The spelling bee, held on the second Children’s Day of this year’s fair, was sponsored by the Watertown Daily Times and Journal & Republican, the Lewis County Agricultural Society, the Lewis County Democratic Party and Jefferson-Lewis BOCES.

The top five spellers in each age group received books and cash prizes ranging from $10 to $35. All participants also received certificates and ribbons.

Today is Family Day at the fair.

Activities begin with an open horse show at 9 a.m. and a dog show at 10 a.m.

The Coleman Bros. midway opens at noon, with $25 wristbands to be sold from noon to 4 p.m. that will allow purchasers to ride until 6 p.m.

The 2013 fair will conclude with the annual demolition derby. The first run will begin at 1 p.m., while the second will start at 6 p.m.

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