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Witham takes
Henry County Spelling Bee title


By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent  

  Gravitas is defined as “seriousness or sobriety, as of conduct or speech.” It is an understanding of the importance of a particular situation.

  How appropriate, then, that it was one of the two final words Logan Witham was required to spell correctly to win the Henry County School System’s annual spelling bee Jan. 24.

HCS Spelling Bee Finalists (Front Row, l to r: Logan Witham, Kathleen Mabutin, and Angela Leeper; (Back Row) Dr. Ethan Hildreth, far left, and supporters of the spelling bee finalists.
                                                                    Special photo

  The Union Grove Middle seventh-grader survived 32 rounds that consumed more than three hours to take home the title in one of the longest bees in the county’s history. Kathleen Mabutin of Locust Grove Middle placed second, her third time in the finals, while Angela Leeper of Ola Middle came in third.

  To win, a student must spell two consecutive words correctly, one of which was missed by his or her opponent. Witham’s final two words were gravitas and cuculiform.

  The event began with 38 competitors from grades 4-8 at schools around the district.

  All three finalists will advance to the regional competition March 1 at Mundy’s Mill Middle School in Jonesboro to face students from Clayton, Coweta, Fayette, Spalding and Rockdale counties. Mabutin placed second in the region last year and got the chance to participate in the state competition.

  For their efforts locally, the three finalists received mementos of their accomplishments, including cash prizes from area sponsors of $25, $50, and $100 for third, second, and first place respectively.

  For more information on the state spelling bee competition and organization, visit the Georgia Association of Educators’ website at For more information on Henry County Schools, visit



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