How do you spell ‘logophile’?

Haley Mayer, of Lakeroad school, takes a turn at the 2014 Sarnia Spelling Bee, held at the Sarnia Library Auditorium and organized by the Organization for Literacy in Lambton. Behind Haley are Isaiah Williams, from P.E. McGibbon, left, and Joey Goodwin, from Lansdowne.

Frayed nerves and red cheeks took centre stage when some of Sarnia’s brightest logophiles went head-to-head recently.

The annual spelling bee hosted by the Organization for Literacy in Lambton and the Sarnia Lakeshore Optimists drew about 30 competitors in Grades 3 to 8.

“I wasn’t too nervous because I’ve been practising a lot,” said 10-year-old Joey Goodwin, the victor at the Grade 3-4 level.

He aced such words as “Christmas” and “sweater” to beat nine competitors in 12 rounds.

“We play spelling bee in the car,” Joey explained, as mom Sara Goodwin gave him a giant hug.

“My favourite word is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

Bennett Schleihauf placed second for Grades 3- 4. Both boys are from Lansdowne Public School.

Many of the literacy organization’s programs exist for people who need extra support, said executive director Sandra Richardson-Ross.

“The spelling bee is a chance for high flyers to show what they’ve got.”

Winners move on to the regional contest April 26 sponsored by the Southwestern Ontario Optimists at the Oil Heritage District Community Centre in Petrolia.

At the Grade 5-6 level, Jia Osser from St. Matthew Catholic School placed first while Leah Smith from P.E. McGibbon earned second.

Benjamin Morningstar from Aberarder Central Public School was first at the Grade 7-8 level, and Adam Shortt from Lansdowne Public School placed second.

Each took home a trophy and gift certificate from The Book Keeper.

– Cathy Dobson