By Morgan Taylor, Reporter
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma – Nikki Deere (Mvskoke) placed second at this years’ Eastern Oklahoma State Spelling Bee held at the Muskogee Civic Center on April 23.
Deere is the daughter of Rob and Danielle Deere of Okemah.
Deere just finished her seventh grade year at Bearden and will be entering the eighth grade this fall.
Once a year, Bearden holds a spelling bee for the students to compete and Deere was this year’s champion qualifying her for the Eastern Oklahoma State Spelling Bee Event.
“I have been the champion every year since third grade,” Deere said proudly. “I have attended the Eastern Oklahoma State Spelling Bee every year too.”
This is Deere’s first year to take home an award for the spelling portion of the event but in previous years she won an award for an art contest where she drew a bee holding Oklahoma to represent the event.
According to Deere, it took a few hours to get down to the last few contestants. Out of 148 contestants, Deere made it down to the last two.
“There was a lot of competition there,” Deere said. “Once we got down to three of us, it took a long time.”
After the elimination of the third person, Deere’s mother Danielle Deere said it was a young boy from Grandview Public Schools who battled with Nikki.
“They went back and forth a couple times,” Danielle said. “He would miss, she would miss and they did that a few different times.”
Danielle claims that Nikki would dedicate time each evening to practicing spelling words to prepare for the competition.
“A state spelling bee word list was sent out for practicing and studying,” Danielle said. “ One of her biggest study habits this year was just making sure she knew how to pronounce each word so she could spell it.”
“She’s just been given that gift where if she hears it then looks at it, she’s been successful in spelling it,” Danielle claims.
Deere’s prize of a $500 check will go to the school with the plan to buy new dictionaries and atlases for the classroom use along with a personal prize of $250.
“I put my money up in my savings,” Deere exclaimed. “I hope to win next year!”