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Hardin Gets Big Sendoff, Places 16th at Regional Spelling Bee

Mike Motz, Sidney Sun-Telegraph

Sidney West Elementary 6th grader Tucker Hardin won the area's District Spelling Bee, not too long ago, and qualified for the Regional Spelling Bee in Omaha, which took place over the past weekend.

This exciting achievement was not overlooked in any way by his school and his classmates, and they had a surprise for Tucker Thursday afternoon when school ended for the day. Tucker would be en route to Omaha Friday, so his classmates sent him off Thursday in style.

At 3:05 when school let out for the day, all of the students and teachers of the school lined the exit hallway and cheered for Tucker as he left the building. As Hardin came out of the auditorium, he was clearly surprised by the send-off, which all involved kept under wraps so Hardin did not know what was going to happen. As he walked down the hallway, the students shouted "Go Tucker!", "We are proud of you!" and "He's the G.O.A.T.!" as he slapped hands and high-fived his classmates while walking down the hall. The chanting and cheering was very loud and sustained, and Tucker clearly was thrilled with his surprise send off.

His mother, Rachel, was at the send off and beamed with pride. "He's always been interested in words and has been a very good speller. He's worked hard for this and we're thrilled to go to Omaha and cheer him on," she said.

On Saturday, Hardin competed in the event, which starts with a written examination that participants needed to score at a certain level to move on to the second round. Hardin was able to manage the written part of the competition, and moved on to the oral competition. At the end of the day, Hardin was able to place 16th out of 71 competitors. Although he did not qualify for the National Spelling Bee, he had a great showing and made his school and classmates proud. With his talent for words and spelling, look for Hardin to get back to the Regionals next year and make a run at the big competition in Washington D. C.


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