With a third-place finish in the 2012 Indiana Academic Spell Bowl state competition conducted Nov. 10 at Purdue University.
The Greencastle team, coached by GHS Latin teacher/academic coach Nicole Kempf, tied for second place in the Class 3 competition.
"We lost the tie-breaker and placed third," Kempf explained, "but we improved our area competition score by six points."
The tie-breaker is the amount of final words of each round (ninth word) the team spells correctly, Kempf explained. The final word of each round is traditionally the most difficult.
Individually, GHS senior Katie Steele-Kannowski and freshmen Lily Spencer and Zach Wilkerson all had perfect scores in the state competition. Meanwhile, GHS juniors Hannah Gellman and Beth Ann Hansen each missed only one word.
"I was thrilled that both my freshmen had perfect scores," Kempf praised. "Some day everyone will have a good day, and we'll win this thing."
In the 2012 Junior Spell Bowl competition, also conducted Nov. 10 at Purdue, the Greencastle Middle School Spell Bowl team finished seventh overall.
Capturing the Class 2 Junior Spell Bowl championship was Thomas Jefferson Middle School of Valparaiso with 72 points.
The GMS team, coached by teacher Suzanne Funk, had captured first place in area competition Oct. 23 at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Terre Haute by scoring 47 points.
"It was tough competition," Funk said. "The winner had a perfect score, as I recall."
The GMS Spell Bowl team is composed of Kelly Hansen, Chloe Bodnarick, Megan Matthews, Haylee Parrish, Amy Gong, Destiny Stouder, Susanna Howard, Jordan O'Neal and Addison Hughes.
Hughes, a former Scripps National Spelling Bee competitor, had a near-perfect round, missing only one word in the state competition, Funk said.
Kelly Hansen, an eighth-grader, missed only two.
"The kids had a great day up at Purdue," she added, "and loved being at the college just as much as they did competing."