Central's Shawn Zheng (6th Grade) Won Spelling Bee!

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Winner Shawn Zheng's mother and grandmother pose with Read To Succeed Executive Director Lisa Mitchell.

With the correct spelling of the word “auditorium,” Central Magnet School sixth grader Shawn Zheng became the 2012 Read To Succeed Read To Bee champion.

After nine rounds of spelling, Zheng beat out Ana Klukowski from St. Rose Catholic School and Ellen Francis from Providence Christian Academy for the title. 

Each student participating already won an individual bee at their school to qualify for the annual Read To Bee. The event, in its ninth year, is hosted by Read To Succeed in an effort to show that a concentration on literacy needs to continue into middle school, high school and beyond. 


"All of the students participating in the Bee were winners before they ever stepped onto the stage,” said Read To Succeed Executive Director Lisa Mitchell. Mitchell also commended the parents and teachers that came to the Bee to show support for their spellers. 

Judges this year included attorney J.D. Kious, Diane Mackey from Rutherford County Schools and Murfreesboro City Schools Director Linda Gilbert. The judges follow the rules of the Scripps National Bees carefully. The sixth grade bee strictly follows the rules of the 7th and 8th grade bees, which directly feeds into the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Elizabeth Church from Rutherford County schools served as the pronouncer, with Rutherford County School’s Barbara Powers serving as Mistress of Ceremonies.


Zheng took home a $100 savings bond from MidSouth Bank and a gift card from the Learning Circle for his teacher.

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