Students excel in inaugural spelling bee
The Palatka Housing Authority took time from its schedule Thursday to honor two students who represented the group at a statewide spelling bee.
The housing authority recognized 11-year-old Jhane Fountain and 13-year-old Leteecia Hunter for their participation in the inaugural Florida Association of Housing and Redevelopment Organizations Spelling Bee at Disney World in Orlando.
Fountain, a fifth-grader at Moseley Elementary School in Palatka, won first place in the local competition for grades three through five, and Hunter took first place in grades six through eight locally.
Hunter and Fountain earned the privilege to travel to Disney World to represent the Palatka Housing Authority at the statewide spelling bee on June 29, where Hunter placed second in her category and Fountain took third place in her group.
Fountain and her coaches were at the Palatka Housing Authority headquarters Thursday for recognition of her outstanding orthographic prowess.
“I want you all to know that she made us proud,” said Will Jones, chairman of the Palatka Housing Authority board of director. “She represented us well. She overcame any concerns and uncertainties and was fully empowered and encouraged by her coaches.”
Yvonne Jones, who was one of the coaches for the girls, said her job was easy since the girls are talented and hard workers.
“It’s important because it’s pushing education,” Yvonne Jones said. “It’s pushing the children to do something they’ve never done before and excel in it. Both of the girls did wonderfully well, and it was a great pleasure to be a part of it.”
“I think it’s great the programs they have for the residents,” board member Jim Neshewat said. “I think it’s just wonderful.”
For her part, Fountain shied away from the limelight. She did not expect all of the attention she was getting and said she was “a little scared” by it all.
Nevertheless, she said she enjoyed her experience representing Palatka at the spelling bee in Orlando and was particularly impressed with the pool at the resort.
“It was good,” Fountain said.