WORTHINGTON — Three outstanding spellers from Worthington Middle School participated lTuesday in the Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative’s 2020 Regional Spelling Bee at Redwood Falls.

Seventh-graders Isaac Kinser and Alex Reum, along with sixth-grader Ayana Leovan, were among 32 fifth- through eighth grade students from 27 school districts to compete.

“All of these students have demonstrated excellent spelling skills, and they represented our school well,” said Paula Wolyniec, a WMS teacher who collaborates with colleague Hollie Hibma as the WMS spelling bee coach and co-coordinator.

Kinser, the son of Aaron and Jennie Kinser, finished highest in the bee. His combined score from the regional bee’s written and oral rounds enabled him to meet the cut-off for the spelldown involving the top 16 spellers.

Kinser ultimately finished in a tie for eighth place overall.

Reum, the son of Randy and Jody Reum, and Leovan, the daughter of Hungphept Leovan, narrowly missed the cut for the spelldown, as they tied for 17th place in the preliminary rounds.

Wolyniec said both Kinser and Reum qualified for the meet by virtue of their past appearances in the WMS Fifth/Sixth Grade Spelling Bee, and by their scores in a more recent qualifying test.

Leovan first excelled in a written spelling test given in classrooms to all WMS fifth- and sixth-graders last fall; she also earned top scores in two subsequent qualifying exams.

Leovan will be among 10 fifth- and sixth-graders to compete in the WMS Fifth/Sixth Grade Spelling Bee on Feb. 27.

“Excellent spelling is something that should be recognized and rewarded in an academic setting,” affirmed Wolyniec.

“And Worthington Middle School has a long tradition of strong spellers who have done well at not only the regional but also the state level.”