Mathews County has two residents who have earned the right to participate in the Regional Spelling Bee on March 5, at the Hampton Convention Center. This bee is a qualifier for the Scripps National Spelling Bee held in Washington, D.C.
Caleb Selph of Cobbs Creek, 13, is an eighth grader at Thomas Hunter Middle School. He won the spelling bee held during the Mathews Market Days in 2010. That local spelling bee was held to benefit Adult Literacy on the Middle Peninsula, Inc., and was sponsored by the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal and Colonial Virginia Bank. Selph, the son of Joy Johnston, is also a member of the Thomas Hunter Quiz Bowl Team and a Star Scout with the Boy Scouts. He participates in Jacob’s Ladder with this summer being the last year as a participant; during ensuing summers, he hopes to assist with the program. In addition to his academic pursuits, Selph is a self-taught piano player.
Baylor Towne of Onemo, also 13, is an eighth grader who will represent the H.E.A.R.T. (Home Educator Assisting Reading Teaching) home school group from Williamsburg for the second consecutive year. The winning word for Baylor at her local bee level was Pompeii. She won the Regional Spelling Bee in 2010 and received an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the National Spelling Bee.
She is the daughter of Jan and Shawn Towne. Baylor’s musical talents (she plays the violin, viola and piano) have provided her the opportunity to play with the Court House Orchestra, Williamsburg Youth Orchestra, plus Strings and Things, a local musical group.