Butler Brothers Earn Top Honors at District Spelling Bee

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MTT News Desk's picture
Perry Hibner, Community Relations Specialist for the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District
Colin and Graham Butler.

Two young brothers took home silver and gold from a recent spelling bee in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD).

Colin Butler, an eighth-grader at Glacier Creek, won the District Spelling Bee, which took place at the Performing Arts Center.

More than 100 students competed in the bee, which lasted approximately three hours. The event is organized by the MCPASD advanced learning team. It is open to all elementary and middle school students in the district.

“We have some great spellers,” said Ruth Bachmeier, who attended most of the event and works in the district’s communications department.

The championship became a family affair as Graham Butler, Colin’s younger brother who is a fifth-grader at West Middleton, earned second place. Anders Burck, a sixth-grader at Kromrey, took third.

Colin and Graham are the children of Emily and Scott Butler. When asked what kind of parenting produced two spellers of such distinction, Emily passed the credit along to her sons. She said occasional games of Boggle are probably the only extra spelling lessons the boys have ever received after school.

“We got lucky, I think,” she said with a chuckle. “They teach me things every day. They enjoy it, and they have a certain aptitude for it.”

Emily went on to say Colin and Graham do not, by any means, spend all their spare time working their way through the dictionary.

“Graham is very excited about academics,” she said. “He’s very enthusiastic about learning things. [Colin] is very focused on his athletics. But no, they don’t come home and practice spelling all the time.”

The winner of the District Spelling Bee came close to not even attending the event. Emily said her son was worried be might miss hockey practice if he took part in the bee. “He said he’d probably get eliminated in the first or second round,” Emily recalled. “I told him that if he did, he could still make it to hockey.”

Needless to say, Colin didn’t make it to hockey practice that night, but he did end up a winner.

“They were both so excited,” said Emily.

“This particular bee was filled with students who were well prepared,” said Amy Weber, who coordinates the spelling bee and is an advanced learning specialist at West Middleton and fifth-grade teacher at Northside.” The amount of preparation was evident as the rounds passed and the words became more and more difficult.”

The top eight spellers, along with four alternates, advance to the Regional Spelling Bee on Feb. 14 in Stoughton.

“We especially want to thank to Pat Motiff and his staff for their assistance with the set-up of the event,” Weber said.

The top eight finishers and four alternates were:

1st place: Colin Butler (Glacier Creek, 8th grade)
; 2nd place: Graham Butler (West Middleton, 5th grade)
; 3rd place: Anders Burck (Kromrey, 6th grade); 
4th place: Olivia Aumann (Glacier Creek, 7th grade)
; 5th place: Nicholas Rawling (Glacier Creek, 7th grade)
; 6th place: Madhu Gowda, (Kromrey, 8th grade)
; 7th place: Jacob Rozum (Kromrey, 8th grade); 8th place: Linnea Dahmen (Glacier Creek, 8th grade).

1st alternate: Ian Bohachek (Park, 4th grade); 
2nd alternate: Calvin Guse (Kromrey, 7th grade)
; 3rd alternate: William Zhang (Elm Lawn, 5th grade)
; 4th alternate: Sheila Colbert (Glacier Creek, 8th grade).

Editor’s note: Matt Geiger contributed to this story.



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