The Tippah County Spelling Bee was held Saturday at the Tippah County Courthouse. Students from Chalybeate, Blue Mountain, Falkner, Pine Grove, Ripley and Walnut competed against each other for top speller in the county. After 13 elimination rounds, Dusty Tennison of Walnut took the title by spelling “bonito” Carter and his fellow participants learned more than just spelling when preparing for this competition.

Academic competitions such as Spelling and Geography Bees, knowledge bowls, science fairs and math and science competitions, can be a fun and memorable experience for the students who participate. They offer many developmental and social benefits and should be encouraged by parents, as well as, teachers.


These competitions can help forge relationships between students who would not otherwise be in the same social circle. Selected students spend extra hours together studying, talking and laughing while preparing for a competition. Friendships and memories are made and unique bonds are formed. Often these bonds last for years to come, even after graduation.


Sometimes academic competitions offer recognition to students who might go unnoticed. The shy and awkward student can often develop a since of self-confidence by excelling in an area that interests them. Competitions can help them come out of their shells.  They get praised for their knowledge and talents and learn public speaking and one-on-one interaction skills.


The underachiever can gain motivation to do better in school through competitions. Some students do not realize how smart they are. Winning a science fair or spelling bee could give them the drive they need to perform better in class. They could gain pride in their schoolwork. They could start asking more questions, reading more and studying more. This could lead to becoming a straight A student, a math or science scholar and eventually Star Student, Valedictorian or Salutatorian.


Companies want employees who work well with others, offer ideas and motivation and constantly help improve company products and services.  Students learn to work together and motivate each other during team competitions. They strive to outperform other schools and improve their own team scores from year to year. Those who master these skills become productive employees in the future.


Students can gain life-long mentors in the teachers who sponsor these competitions. These educators devote much of their free time to preparing young competitors. They push children to excel. They are with them from beginning to end of the competition. They congratulate them when they win and encourage them when they lose. They provide guidance and friendship as they mold these young minds into successful adults.

Whether making memories, forging friendships or finding mentors, academic competitions can benefit students in many ways. Parents, encourage your child to enter the spelling bee, science fair or math and science competition. It might be just what they need to become a better student, friend and employee one day.

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