Locust Grove Middle School sixth-grader Kathleen Mabutin
By Jason A. Smith
LOCUST GROVE — School officials in Henry County recognized Locust Grove Middle School sixth-grader Kathleen Mabutin for her performance in Friday’s state spelling competition.
Mabutin and 19 other students in fifth through eighth grades competed in the Georgia Association of Educators’ Spelling Bee at Georgia State University Friday. She finished 11th in the bee, exiting in the sixth round on the word “deprecatory.”
Thirteen-year-old Nicholas Poulos, a student at The Wesleyan School in Gwinnett County, won the spelling bee. He will represent Georgia in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, May 28 through May 30.
Mabutin has competed in spelling contests at the local level in the past, but this year marked her first appearance at a state spelling bee. She remains eligible to compete in the bee for two more years.
Mabutin said she is thankful for the chance to compete against other top spellers in Georgia.
“When I was younger, I wanted to be one of those people who would be in spelling bees,” she said. “I actually do a lot of reading, so I think that has helped a lot with learning new words and spelling.”
Henry County Schools spokesman J.D. Hardin congratulated Mabutin on her spelling success.
“We’re excited for her,” said Hardin. “It’s a huge accomplishment for her to finish 11th in the entire state. We look forward to continued success for her for the remaining two years she has in eligibility.”