Top speller overcomes ‘trauma’

Lake Middle School
student Joel Gollehon spells during the 2014 Wood County Spelling Bee February 8, 2014. (Photos: Enoch

Joel Gollehon made the proper diagnosis of the trauma to win the 2014 Wood County Spelling Bee Saturday
"Trauma" was the championship word for the eighth-grader at Lake Middle School after he
correctly spelled "diagnosis" in the previous round.
Joel was nearly eliminated previously when he misspelled "innate." Runner-up Carolyn Schutte of
Indian Hills Elementary gave him a second chance when she stumbled on the potential championship word,
According to the rules, when it is down to the final two competitors, to be crowned champion one must
spell their word correctly in the round when the other speller is wrong. Then, to win, they must then
spell one more word in the championship round.
After Joel’s error, Carolyn, who is in sixth grade, handled "lariat," but erred with the vowels
in "temporal." In the next round, she missed "stipple" allowing Joel to win with
Interestingly the champion and runner-up are both avid readers and said they did not do any preparation
for the spelling bee.
"I didn’t prepare," Joel said. "I read books and that’s how I learn words."
"I didn’t prepare at all, I just read a lot," Carolyn agreed.
Tesla Bias of Eagle Point Elementary School finished third in the event after she exited on
"layette" in the sixth round.
Three others who made it to the top six will join the top three in advancing to the regional championship
to be held at Owens Community College on March 8.

Indian Hills Elementary
student Carolyn Schutte spells during the 2014 Wood County Spelling Bee February 8, 2014. Schutte took
second place in the competition.

Those other advancers who each exited in the fourth round (with their misspelled word) are Alyssa
Hoodlebrink, Eastwood Middle School (belladonna); Carlin Pendell, St. Aloysius Catholic School
(gardenia); and Allison Pisula, Woodland Elementary (igneous).
After erring on "innate," Joel said, "I thought I was going to lose."
He obviously was happy to get another chance. He joked that both he and his brothers are always getting
hurt, so he was very familiar with his final words, diagnosis and trauma.
His father, James Gollehon, said he was "pretty confident" in his son’s ability and used his
time relaxed in the gallery. "I was just sitting back and hoping he had fun."
Joel’s mother, Allison Fox, also was philosophical noting it was an "honor for him to be here and an
honor to represent his school."
Adding, "and it was exciting that he won."
She said he became fascinated with reading at an early age and that definitely helped him with his
knowledge of words.
After the bee, Carolyn admitted to being nervous. She said she was unsure if it was "el" or
"le" at the end of stipple and went the wrong way.
"I will have to look up temporal in the dictionary," she added.
Knowing she may face off against Joel again next month at Owens, she told him, "You better watch out
next time."
Her mother, April Schutte, said "I was nervous and I could see she was shaking."
Despite what mom saw, Carolyn was among the most poised and confident at the microphone.
Four of the 20 eligible participants were not in attendance. The top two from each of 10 schools earned
their way to the Wood County event.
At least twice, competitors realized they made a mistake while spelling their word, however, by rule,
they are not allowed to make a change and were thus eliminated.
Also participating on Saturday (with their exit word) were Genevieve Thomas, Woodland Elementary
(bonanza); Devin McKee, Otsego Junior High (bruin); Jesse He, Bowling Green Middle School (diplomat);
Braden Miller, Glenwood Elementary (worrisome); Elijah Gladden, St. Aloysius (stethoscope); Ellie
Kregel, Otsego Junior High (dissect); Olivia Strang, Bowling Green Middle School (grubble); Isabella
Garza, Indian Hills Elementary (glitz); Tatam Houtz, Eastwood Middle School (chinchilla); and Karis
Cherko, Rossford Junior High (chocolate).
Jeff Smith, co-anchor of WTVG News (13 ABC) pronounced the words and volunteered one sentence after the
speller correctly spelled honcho. Smith said he was happy he did not have to read the sentence using the
word, then he read, "The head honcho at the television station said he was looking for a new news
Jessica Blakely of Bowling Green Care Center, and Kyle Kanuckel, superintendent of the Wood County
Educational Service Center, were the judges. The WCESC sponsored and hosted the event.