• Siblings Sally (right) and Davis Moore claimed the top two spots in the Mountain Brook Elementary Spelling Bee on Dec. 14, 2020. 

    Jan. 5, 2021  — On Dec. 14, 2020, Mountain Brook Elementary held its annual school Spelling Bee. Due to COVID-19, this year’s spelling bee was a little different than years past.  

    Typically, finalists from fourth to sixth grade stand on stage in the school auditorium in front of an audience and spell different words consecutively. The last one standing wins. This year, the 24 finalists advanced from individual classroom elimination rounds. 

    On the morning of Dec. 14, the finalists gathered in the auditorium for a virtual spelling bee. Each student had to spell 25 words on a computer while wearing headphones. Some of the words came from a 450-word study list published by the Scripps National Spelling Bee — a list that included “chanteuse,” “psychiatrist,” “deities,” and “au revoir” this year. In addition, other unannounced words also were part of the 25-word slate, which made the students think hard on their feet. 

    For the first time in MBE Spelling Bee history, both the winner and runner-up of this year’s competition were siblings — Sally and Davis Moore. Sixth-grader Sally edged out her fourth-grade brother, Davis, after both tied each other in the opening round. The siblings moved in to a 15-word second round, which Sally won.  

    Sally will move on to the Mountain Brook District Spelling Bee after the holidays. Davis said he had been looking forward to competing in the spelling bee for the first time and, even though he lost to his big sister, he said that he had a “great time, although it was tough to learn all those words.”  

    Sally said that she had to study hard to win because many of her classmates are good spellers. Her advice for future competitors: “There are lots of words every year. You just have to take them a little at a time."