Cleburne Independent School district

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Bond 2018

Santa Fe Third Grader Derek Malone is the Youngest Competitor at the Area 24 Spelling Bee--for the Second Consecutive Year


            Santa Fe third grader Derek Malone will be experiencing his second Area 24 Spelling Bee Tuesday morning as he joins with fellow campus champions to “spell it out” for the opportunity to compete at the Fort Worth Regional contest.

             Nine Cleburne ISD students will be among the competitors at the annual spelling event taking place at 10 a.m. at the District’s Central Offices. The top spellers also include Adams Elementary 5th grader Lydia Land; Jake Labo, 5th grade, Coleman; Braedon Carlton, 5th grade, C.C. Cooke; Annabelle Snow, 5th grade, Gerard; Mandy Morales, 5th grade, Irving; Brock Easley, 5th grade, Marti; Smith Middle School 8th grader Josh Collins and Corey Walker, 7th grade, Wheat Middle School.

Malone’s teacher, Kacie Miller, said Derek had included winning the school spelling bee in his personal goals for 2018.

“He also included winning the Area Spelling Bee,” Miller said. “He’s generated some excitement among his classmates, along with an interest in competing in the spelling bee. I know he’s been working hard at home. His mother told me he studies 30 minutes every day.”

“Derek is so interested in learning and loves reading,” Miller said. “We are all excited for him to represent Santa Fe Elementary again this year and we would love to plan a celebration for him as the Area 24 champion.”

The nine-year-old said being in the 2017 area spelling bee was one of the best things in his life.

“I was nervous, and also happy that I got to be in it,” he said. “And now, after winning the school spelling bee, and knowing I’m going to the area contest, I’m happy again. I worked hard for it. I like the challenge of the spelling bee. Even though I was in the area contest last year, it won’t be any easier.”

But he might be a little less nervous. Once again, he will be the youngest speller in the group, which is also something of which to be proud.

And he is, as are his parents, who say “it’s amazing,” according to Malone.

Spelling bee campus winners from Keene and Joshua middle schools will also be among Tuesday’s contestants. The winner of the Area 24 event will compete at the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee taking place March 1 at Texas Christian University.



For the second consecutive year, Santa Fe Elementary Spelling Bee Winner, third grader Derek Malone, will be the youngest competitor at the Area 24 Spelling Bee taking place Tuesday. Nine CISD campus champions will be participating in the contest, which will also include winners from Keene and Joshua ISDs.