Top spellers battle it out

Twelve-year-old Mandy Grathwohl of Gardnerville didn't care that a "bevel" is a sloping surface or edge; she just wanted to spell the word right during Douglas County School District's sixth-grade spelling bee at Gardnerville Elementary School on Tuesday.

A student at GES, Mandy competed against 20 other top-spelling sixth graders from the district's schools. After 10 rounds of correctly spelling words like "buffeted" and "glucose," Mandy went head to head with Scarselli Elementary School's 11-year-old Dalton Grisell.

Dalton was given the word "corrode."

"C-o-r-o-d-e," he spelled out, missing an 'r'.

Mandy was given the word "wary."

"W-a-r-y," she spelled out correctly.

But Mandy wasn't done. She had to spell one more word to lock in the championship. That word was "bevel."

"B-e-v-e-l," Mandy spelled out, then looked at the judges anxiously.

The three judges held up their green cards, which meant Mandy had not only spelled the word correctly but had become champion.

"I am so proud of her. She worked so hard to get here," mother Victoria Grathwohl said after wiping away tears.

Grathwohl is an advertising representative at The Record-Courier.

"I guess I'm just a good speller," Mandy said. "I'm shocked and happy."

In March, the Grathwohls will travel to Las Vegas for the state championship.

"My friends will be bugging me to get them souvenirs," said Mandy. "I'm excited."


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