Peter Seok

(L to R): Dr. Shirley Lazenby, Sheriff Jay Jones, and Laura Cooper with fourth-grader Peter Seok

At its meeting Tuesday night, the Auburn City Schools Board of Education recognized and honored several groups in the community, including Matt Cimo, who was inducted into the 2021 Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame; Fabiona Sanchez, Auburn High School; Erin Clarkson, Auburn Junior High School, who won the 2021 Girls Wrestling State Championship; 584 ACS entries at the State Superintendent's Art Show; 56 ACS students who have been selected to be apart of the All-State, All State Alternate and All District Bands; and Scott Goolsby, who was named AHSAA 7A Assistant Coach of the Year.  

Another recognition will soon turn into support as a fourth-grader from Ogletree Elementary prepares to represent Auburn City Schools at the State Spelling Bee. 

After 20 rounds against 19 contestants that lasted nearly three hours, Peter Seok was declared the winner of the 2021 Lee County Spelling Bee with the winning word “calzone.” Seok will be one of many competitors from around the state who will spell their way to being the 2021 Alabama Spelling Bee champion. 

According to Bruce Zutter, Seok’s sponsor, Peter’s dedication to the process will definitely be put to the test.

“Peter is a dedicated student in Mallory Bonner’s 4th grade class at Ogletree,” Zutter said. “While he is the winner of this year’s spelling bee, it will be the second year for him to be the Ogletree Elementary School Winner, participating in the 2020 Lee County Spelling Bee last year as a third-grader.” 

Seok will face new challenges as he prepares for the state bee, though. 

“Unlike the county spelling bee, the state bee will also include vocabulary rounds where students will be given one of their spelling words and then select the correct meaning from one of the three choices,” Zutter said. “The word study list contains some 4,000 words.”

The 2021 State Spelling Competition will be held March 27 at the University of Alabama-Birmingham in Birmingham.

 How does one show support for such a feat? 

According to Daniel Chesser, public relations specialist for Auburn City Schools, ACS and Olgetree did the only thing they felt was right— served Peter his winning word for lunch the following school day. 

“Auburn City Schools is very proud of Peter and his accomplishments,” Chesser said. “I know Ogletree Elementary is proud of him and looking forward to him competing on the state level.

“To celebrate his win, the school prepared him calzones for lunch the following day.”

In other news, the Board, alongside Mayor Ron Anders, declared the month of February Career Technical Education Month, thanking career tech teachers and the Auburn community  for preparing ACS students through work-based learning opportunities.

ACS also thanked EAMC for partnering with the district to vaccinate  75 percent of its staff at its vaccination clinic, which was held on Jan. 28 at Auburn Junior High School. The district will be hosting a second clinic for those who need to receive the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday at the same location. 

While ACS is still following its Return to Learning Covid-19 plan, students must remain in current placement of online or in- person learning after the third 9 weeks of the semester. All classes, regardless of placement, must be completed by the last day of school, which is set for May 2.

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