Jorge Millan Merchan, an 8th-grader at the STEM Academy at Bartlett, spelled his way to first place at the 2020 Chatham County Spelling Bee. Jorge competed against the best spellers from 35 Chatham County schools, finally pulling ahead of Pragun Pandey from Southwest Middle School
The annual spelling contest is sponsored by the Chatham Association of Educators. The competition was enhanced this year with the addition of a vocabulary category. Spellers were asked to pick the correct definition of words to further tax their spelling endeavors. The words grew more difficult with each passing round and the dreaded “ding" of the judges signaling an incorrect spelling winnowed the field to just four as the evening progressed. Eventually, Millan Merchan and Pandey were the last men standing. Millan-Merchan's captured the title by correctly spelling “nuance," followed by “sapphire."
Jorge will advance to the Regional Spelling Bee which is scheduled for February 22nd at Georgia Southern University's Armstrong Campus.