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Media Releases: February 10, 2003

Austin Eklund, an eighth grader at Murray Middle School, won the St. Johns County School District Spelling Bee held today at the School Board Administration Center. He won by spelling the word “recitalist” correctly.

Austin is the son of Alison Eklund of St. Augustine.

Twenty-six elementary and middle school students from 20 public and six private schools competed for the honor of representing St. Johns County in the Regional Spelling Bee. If for any reason the winner is not able to attend, runner-up Sean Kaplan from Palmer Catholic Academy will represent the county.

The annual spelling bee is sponsored by the Florida Times-Union and aired live by WFOY-AM Radio. The regional competition is scheduled for March 8 in Jacksonville. The winner of the regional bee will advance to compete in the national spelling bee scheduled
May 25-30 in Washington, D. C.

It took 14 rounds for the winner to be determined. All participants received certificates, pins and prize bags furnished by Students Working Against Tobacco, the Tobacco-Free Partnership of St. Johns County. They were congratulated by School Board members, Superintendent Hugh Balboni and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Learning Martha Mickler.

The district spelling bee was coordinated by Steve Moranda, Executive Director for Instructional Services, and his staff. Enunciator was Staff Development Coordinator George Moon. Judges for the event were Elizabeth Binninger, Director for Food Service; Angie Jones, Executive Secretary to the Superintendent; Jim Welu, Director for Student Services and Testing, and Penny Halyburton, Supervisor of Elections.




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St. Johns County School District
40 Orange St. St. Augustine, FL 32084 904.819.7500