7th grader wins local spelling bee
SPELLING CHAMPION Laje Reine-Brooks, center, is congratulated by her grandmother, Pinkie Norman, left, and aunt, Eugenia Brooks, after she won the Meridian/Lauderdale County Spelling Bee on Friday. Reine-Brooks will next compete at the state Spelling Bee in Jackson on March 27. PHOTO BY PENNY RANDALL / THE MERIDIAN STAR.
By Penny Randall/staff writer
March 2, 2002
Laje Reine-Brooks' grandmother, Pinkie Norman, held the cross on her necklace in her hand and said a prayer Friday as her granddaughter spelled "interrogate" the word which won Reine-Brooks the Meridian/Lauderdale County Spelling Bee.
A seventh-grader at Magnolia Middle School, Reine-Brooks beat out 89 other students from area public, private and parochial schools.
This was Reine-Brooks' second year to be involved in the spelling bee, sponsored by The Meridian Star and its Newspaper In Education program.
The daughter of Paul and Larriette McCune of Meridian, she is active in her school, serving on the newspaper staff at Magnolia and is A-B student.
The spelling bee was held Friday at Mississippi State University-Meridian branch.
Newspaper in Education coordinator Lee Schulte oversees the program for The Star.
Second place went to Breanne Logan, a sixth grader at Carver Middle School. There was a five-way tie for third place among Jennie Fisher, a fifth grade student at Lamar; Maggie Day, a sixth grader at Magnolia Middle School; Ryan Jimenez, a sixth grade student at St. Patrick's; Ryan Gressett, a seventh grader at Southeast Lauderdale; and Mary Anna Smith, a fourth grade student at Lamar.