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Brayden Armes, a seventh-grader from St. Joseph Catholic School in Farmington is the champion of the Three Rivers College Southeast Missouri Regional Spelling Bee. His winning word was “carpentry.” The competition involving 39 spellers from 21 area schools lasted 12 rounds.

The Southeast Missouri Regional Spelling Bee is held annually at Three Rivers College. Steve Lewis, TRC Associate Professor of Speech Communications, served as pronouncer for the competition. The judges, who tracked every word and verified spelling accuracy, were Associate Professor of English Tiechera Samuell, Assistant Professor of Communication Margaret Orlando, and Instructor of Reading Lisa Gray. Spellers studied the “2018 School Spelling Bee Study List” and “Spell It!,” a 1,150-word list provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee and Merriam-Webster.

Armes now advances to compete in the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee in the Washington, D.C., area. It will be broadcast on ESPN channels May 29-31. In addition to the expenses-paid trip to the national finals for him and a parent, Armes also wins these prizes:

  • The Samuel Louis Sugarman Award is a 2018 United States Mint Proof Set provided by Jay Sugarman, chairman and CEO of iStar Financial, in honor of his father. Armes will receive the prize in June.
  • The Britannica Online Premium is a one-year subscription for the premier online resource from Encyclopædia Britannica.
  • The Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online is a one-year subscription for the official word source for all levels of competition for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

“Brayden was our champion in 2016, so we thought he had a good chance to win again this year,” said Associate Professor of English Mark Sanders, the coordinator of the Three Rivers College Spelling Bee. “We all think he has an excellent chance of doing well at the national competition.”

Three Rivers College has sponsored the regional Bee event for nine years. The competition encourages students to set goals and dedicate time to study and prepare. Participation also provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in public speaking and performing under pressure.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee provides the list of words for the regional competition. The Bee reaches an estimated 11 million students across the country and in other parts of the world with the classroom materials it provides to enrolled schools. The purpose of the Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

Three Rivers College is committed to contributing to the quality of life in Southeast Missouri with quality, affordable higher education opportunities and community services that support and encourage the economic, civic, and cultural vitality of the region. For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit

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2080 Three Rivers Blvd., Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
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