County hosts inaugural Noralla Thomas Memorial Geography Bee


January 27, 2023

County spelling bee winners, from left: 1st place Danner Schaffer, 2nd place Kinch Rost, 3rd place Maddie Brownfield, 4th place Corrick Laughery, 5th place Alivia Foxley and 6th place Kira Kratzer

On January 19, the Carter County Superintendent of Schools and Ekalaka Elementary hosted the county spelling bee and inaugural Noralla Thomas Memorial Geography Bee. Beginning at 9 a.m., students lined up to spell a variety of words given to them by pronouncer Vicki Fix. As rounds progressed, some students were successful while others weren't so lucky. When the final word was spelled correctly, Danner Schaffer of Hammond School was declared the winner. Danner will have the opportunity to compete in the state spelling bee later this year.

After a lunch break, students reconvened in the grade school gym for the first annual Noralla Thomas Memorial Geography Bee, emceed by Tenadore Kittelmann. The competition was set up similar to the popular game show "America Says," and students were randomly divided into teams of similar age groups. This year, North America was the subject area in varying degrees of difficulty according to grade level.

Thomas passed away in October, 2022. For many years, she was a strong supporter of geography and helped organize several county competitions. Thomas taught at rural schools including Alzada, Robinson, Albion, Sand Butte, and Johnston School. She was a big advocate of not only spelling and geography bees, but also science fairs, track meets and academic olympics Thomas retired from teaching in 1998. She was awarded the Carter County Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year award in 1992, and also received the award for Outstanding Conservation Teacher in 1988 by the Carter County Conservation District.


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