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Albany Middle Student Earns District Spelling Bee Crown

Spelling Bee Ba


SandovalAlbany, Ga. - Uriah Ba was every bit the personification of confidence during the Dougherty County School System’s District Spelling Bee Thursday. If she had any nerves at all, she kept them well hidden.

Still, when the caller announced what would become her bee-winning word, the atmosphere in the auditorium at Dougherty Comprehensive High School was tense. 

Ba, a student at Albany Middle School, was undeterred. 

“Lineage, L-I-N-E-A-G-E, lineage,” Ba said, and the auditorium erupted. 

Ba’s flawless performance in the bee capped a 16-round competition among 19 students from schools across the DCSS. Along the way, Radium Elementary’s Roberto Sandoval stayed right there with her; the two crushing word after word, until only they remained on the stage. 

In the end, Ba walked away with the crown and Sandoval earned the alternate spot, meaning he’ll step in if Ba is unable to compete in the upcoming regional spelling bee. 

“Most of the words I got were surprises, but I got happy though when they called a few of the words because I knew them and had studied them,” Ba said after her win. 

When asked about her confidence on stage, Ba said, “I studied every day at school and home, so I felt pretty prepared.” 

Donna Gleaton, the district’s Elementary Content Coordinator for English/Language Arts and organizer of the bee, had one word to describe Thursday’s event: 

“It was very intense,” Gleaton said. “The students and the schools put a lot of effort into preparing for the bee and that was evident today. They did a great job and I’m so proud of them.”