Boulevards are roads that usually move you quickly from one place to another.  In the championship round of the 2017 Spelling Bee for Floyd County Schools, it was a slow meticulous pace at spelling the word that won the day for Tessa Knowles, an eighth-grader from Model Middle School.  Knowles outlasted 10 other competitors in the event held at the central office of the school system on Wednesday morning. Matthew Campbell, a sixth-grader from Armuchee Middle, was the runner-up.
Knowles had a difficult trek to the championship as she had to spell “geothermal”, “furlong”, “antiquated”, “pearlescent” and define “implacable” on the road to the spelling title. Knowles spelled “petrifying” and “boulevard” for the final two words in the championship round to win the spelling title.
Knowles was not a newcomer to the spelling competition as she also participated when in the sixth-grade.  “I believe that I went out in the first round,” she recalled.  Her brother Liam was also a competitor in the spelling showcase.  Both Knowles spellers came through Johnson Elementary on their way to middle school spelling titles.
A new preparation for spelling contests may be moving to the forefront as Knowles attributed exploration on social media for her success.  “I just see words and I remember how to spell them,” she said. “I use social media a lot and that is where I find many new words.” 
Knowles also mentioned that she spent two hours on a Skype group chat with her friends the night before the event instead of pouring over the word list for the contest.  “I really did not spend a lot of time particularly studying for the Spelling Bee.”  She related that she elected instead to rely on her ability to recall the spelling of words she has seen in her explorations on social media and online.

Knowles will represent Floyd County Schools in the District 1 Spelling Bee to be held on Saturday, February 25 at 10 a.m. at Georgia Highlands College.  When asked how she would prepare for the next round of competition spelling, Knowles quipped, “Maybe I will have a four-hour Skype chat!”  Then she added,”No, really I think I will spend some extra time looking over the word list for the district.”

School spelling champions participating in the Spelling Bee were Haven Glick, Alto Park Elementary; Abbie Carson, Armuchee Elementary; Matthew Campbell, Armuchee Middle; Cortney Sellears, Cave Spring Elementary; Lauren McGhee-Kennamer, Coosa Middle; Kayla Langarica, Garden Lakes; Christian Duke, Johnson Elementary; Winston Cash, Model Elementary; Tessa Knowles, Model Middle; Samuel Sandoval-Reyes, Pepperell Elementary; and Kaitlyn Morgan, Pepperell Middle.