Peru Parkside eighth grader wins LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam counties spelling bee

Peru Parkside eighth grader wins LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam counties spelling bee

Shea Rathburn of Parkside Middle School in Peru is this year’s LaSalle, Marshall, and Putnam counties spelling bee winner. After 15 rounds, the eighth grader correctly spelled mahatma to clinch the championship.

She lost the spelling bee early on two years ago. This time, Rathburn says the only word that gave her trouble was in the first round. She wasn’t familiar with mizzle, but her guess was good. Rathburn gets a place in a bigger spelling bee in Peoria next month.

In second place is seventh grader Riker Fesperman of Waltham School. He felt great about second place. He says he didn’t expect to get that far.

The spelling bee was at Ottawa High School Saturday morning. It had been scheduled for Saturday, February 10, but it was postponed due to last week’s snowy weather.

Left to right: LaSalle, Marshall, and Putnam Counties Regional Schools Superintendent Chris Dvorak, runner-up Riker Fesperman, 1st place winner Shea Rathburn.