BOONE — The team from Hardin Park Elementary School won the 15th annual Grown-Up Spelling Bee on April 12.

Twenty-six teams from various groups around the High Country vied for the top spelling honors in the annual Boone Area Chamber of Commerce spelling bee.

The winner word, “banausic,” proved a challenge for the finalists — “anthophilous” and “latke” were other difficult words that helped weed out the master spellers from the average.

Costume winners for the event came from KAMPN (Kids with Autism Making Progress in Nature), who dressed up as breakfast ingredients, and table decoration winners were from Appalachian Brian Estates.

Judges were Sheriff Len Hagaman, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office; Rennie Brantz, mayor of Boone; Omer Tomlinson of Spectrum Communications; and Charles Hardin, Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce president.

The beneficiary of the event was the Watauga High School Innovation Lab, a cutting-edge technology and development center in the school’s library, headed up by Josh Marsh.

The lab was awarded a check for $1,000 to advance their program of critical thinking and creative design, thanks to sponsorship from Chick-fil-A and Krispy Kreme.

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