Paley took the top prize by spelling sequins correctly. He had to spell stationery first though, after his opponent missed the word, before being declared the winner.
Paley, who skipped a grade this year in school, placed second in the Association of Christian Schools International Spell Off on February 13, and won first place in the Grayson County Spelling Bee on Valentine’s Day.
He will compete in the ACSI Regional Bee competition in Ohio, and also represent the county on March 14 in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee.
In addition to his trophies, Paley received a $500 savings bond for winning the county spelling bee.
This makes the third year in a row that Paley has won first place in his grade category. He won first place in both fourth and fifth grade.
Leitchfield Christian Academy teacher Debbie Childress commented on Paley’s success.
“He (Paley) just has the natural ability and talent for putting words together,” explained Childress. “People do not realize this, but he had to study two different lists for two different bees at the same time.”
Paley talked about how he been able to find his niche in spelling words, and what it is like to compete.
“It took me about a week to get the words down,” said Paley. “All I do is try to think clearly and write the word out in my head first, then I spell it out loud. I have kind of gotten used to the audience and people staring at me by now. ”
The top two fourth through eighth-graders from each school in the district, and one alternate, were chosen to compete on Saturday.
In the fourth grade division Shelbi Pendergest won first place, Kristen shartzer won second, and Chasity Williams placed third.
For the fifth grade Jayde Gross won first place, Rebecca Higdon placed second, and Roark Wilson placed third.
Bret Crawford won first in the sixth-grade division, Kristen Jarboe placed second, and Ann-Marie Eubank placed third.
In the seventh and eighth grade division Paley won first place, John Lindley placed second and Donald Clark placed third.