Salem girl spells ‘graham’ for win

The six finalists who will represent Salem City Schools at the Columbiana County Spelling Bee on March 4 in Lisbon, along with two alternates in case a finalist can’t make it, include seated from left, third runner-up Hadley Carlisle, first runner-up Isaac Godfrey, Salem champion Mya Harsh and second runner-up Caleb Spiker, and standing from left, fourth runner-up Aaron Smith, fifth runner-up Olivia Hoffman, first alternate Rachel Fowler and second alternate William Panteleris.

SALEM –Seventh grade student Mya Harsh never appeared flabbergasted as she spelled her way to the championship Tuesday at the Salem City Schools Spelling Bee.

She didn’t need to call the “sheriff” before going to the word “jamboree” and then confidently spelling “graham” in the 10th round for the win. Last year she placed seventh in the school bee and was tagged an alternate, getting called up to represent Salem at the Columbiana County Spelling Bee in the end.

She’ll return to the county bee in Lisbon on March 4, this time as Salem City Schools champion.

“I’m excited,” she said.

“Graham,” “sheriff” and “jamboree” were just a few of the words she had to spell, along with “flabbergast,” “aromatherapy,” “mister,” “goliath” and “palindrome.”

Salem seventh grader Mya Harsh spells the word “graham” to win the Salem City Schools Spelling Bee in the 10th round Tuesday in the school auditorium. Her younger sister, Emma, who’s in the fifth grade, also participated. (Salem News photos by Mary Ann Greier)

“She’s been studying hard,” her mom, Missy, said.

Both she and her sister, fifth-grade participant Emma Harsh, had some extra incentive, too, from their dad, Andy, who promised an Oculus Quest if either of them placed fifth or above. Missy said he already had it ordered before the bee even started.

Mya will be joined at the county bee by five fellow Salem City Schools students. The other qualifiers include: first runner-up Isaac Godfrey, eighth grade; second runner-up Caleb Spiker, fifth grade; third runner-up Hadley Carlisle, sixth grade; fourth runner-up Aaron Smith, sixth grade; and fifth runner-up Olivia Hoffman, seventh grade. First alternate is eighth grader Rachel Fowler, with seventh grader William Panteleris as second alternate. Alternates will serve if any of the qualifiers can’t attend.

Mya said she plans to continue studying in preparation for the county contest, which is co-sponsored by the Columbiana County Educational Service Center and the Salem News, East Liverpool Review and Morning Journal.

Other participants in the school spelling bee along with Emma included fifth graders Laura Furlong and Wyatt Greenwood, sixth graders Ethan Carlisle, Lily Hill, Matthew Campanelli and Camryn Mark, seventh graders Nick Clingerman and Alexa DiCross, and eighth graders Mallory Hudson, Xavier Brant and Nathan Kasten.

Salem eighth grader Isaac Godfrey anxiously awaits his turn to spell in the late rounds of the bee. Godfrey earned first runner-up honors and a spot in the Columbiana County Spelling Bee on March 4.


Caleb Spiker, a fifth-grader from Southeast School, calmly spells one of his words in the Salem City Schools Spelling Bee. Spiker finished as second runner-up. (Salem News photos by Mary Ann Greier)

Sixth grader Aaron Smith from Southeast School grins during his turn at the microphone during the spelling bee. Smith was the fourth runner-up.


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