You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Girl in apartment hit by bullet
    A young girl was shot late Saturday when a bullet pierced the wall of an apartment on Fort Wayne's southeast side, police said.
  • FCC seeks fast Internet in schools
    Many of the nation’s schools are sailing down the information superhighway in a rusting van: good for a ride and small items but undependable for the long haul.
  • School districts see subs shortage
    Joanie LeGrand retired from teaching at Holland Elementary School in Fort Wayne in 1999. Now she comes back to work as a substitute teacher, bringing her bag of tricks with her.
Top spellers
1. Lwin Moe Aung, Grade 6, Lutheran South Unity School
2. Kyla Macaraig, Grade 8, Concordia Lutheran Lower School
3. (tie) Zayaan Habib, Grade 5, Oakview Elementary School, and Janhavi Govande, Grade 7, Canterbury School
4. Jackson Parrish, Grade 7, New Haven Middle School
5. (tie) Marco Escobar, Grade 5, St. John the Baptist School, and Ryan Koenig, Grade 7, St. Peter’s Lutheran School
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Lwin Moe Aung of Lutheran South Unity School correctly spells “proficient” to become the winner at the Allen County Spelling Bee on Saturday at IPFW.

‘Proficient’ sixth-grader captures JG county bee

Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Sixty-eight spellers competed in Saturday’s county spelling bee at IPFW.

One by one, student spellers approached the microphone onstage inside the Rhinehart Music Center’s Auer Performance Hall at IPFW.

One by one, spellers were eliminated with the ding of a bell signaling the incorrect spelling of words like “hors d’oeuvre,” “wainscot” and “beleaguer.”

After 24 rounds, Lwin Moe Aung, a sixth-grader from Lutheran South Unity School, took the top spot with the correct spelling of “proficient.” Lwin Moe Aung will advance to the regional competition against other top county spellers from northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.

Nearly 70 students in grades 4-8 participated in Saturday’s 59th annual Journal Gazette Allen County Spelling Bee presented by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives and IPFW in partnership with Barrett & McNagny Attorneys at Law.

Many prepared for weeks leading up to the event Saturday.

Lwin Moe Aung said he enlisted the help of, a site that builds literacy skills through games. Lwin Moe Aung seemed relieved when the bee ended, after about three hours of spelling.

He said afterward he simply felt “happy” after his win, an improvement over achieving fourth place in last year’s event.

Kyla Macaraig, an eighth-grader at Concordia Lutheran Lower School, was disappointed with her runner-up finish. She said afterward that she should have spelled more slowly and taken more time to think through the word. She replaced an “e” for the “y” while misspelling “gentry.” Macaraig also took second place last year.

Macaraig and Lwin Moe Aung went through six intense rounds of back and forth spelling. In an earlier round, it appeared that Macaraig might take the top spot. When just two spellers remain and one speller misspells a word in a round, the other speller must correctly spell the championship word.

In one of the rounds, Lwin Moe Aung misspelled a word, giving Macaraig a chance to spell “gentry” for the title.

But when she did not, it gave Lwin Moe Aung another chance.

New Haven Middle School seventh-grader Jackson Parrish earned fourth place in the bee but left IPFW feeling good about his performance compared with his appearance two years ago.

“Last time, I only made it to the third round,” he said.

The 14-county regional spelling bee will be March 9, also in the Auer Performance Hall in Rhinehart Music Center at IPFW. The winner of that competition will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.