The annual Rachel B. Stoffer Bee took place at the Newcomerstown Middle School on Thursday, Feb. 9 in the auditorium with 29 students participating in the event. Eighth grade student Shauna Cox, daughter of Tom and Bobbi Cox, became this year's champion by spelling the word "carnival" in the 10th round. (Interesting fact -- Shauna finally captured first place after taking third place her sixth grade year and placing second her seventh grade year.) After a very close competition, first runner-up was sixth grader Noah Creager, son of Shaun and Sue Creager, and the second runner-up was seventh grader Carra Popadak, daughter of Michael and Rhonda Popadak (who claimed her spot after a spell-off with Brea Garretson). Thank you to everyone who helped make this year's Spelling Bee possible, including the pronouncer, Scott Thomas; stage director, Shelley Cline; pre-bee director, Kathy Anderson; audio recorder, Amy Miller; and the judges, Angela Decaminada, Michelle Golder and Jason Leggett. Cox travels to Glen Oak High School for the 66th Regional Grand Final Spelling Bee sponsored by The Repository on March 3. Pictured, l to r, are Noah Creager, Shauna Cox and Carra Popadak.