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Holmen student wins regional spelling bee at West Salem, among 5 local qualifiers for state bee



Top five finishers from 2023 CESA-4 spelling bee; the winner is Dean Teale of Holmen, second from right

For the first time since 2020, La Crosse area students met face-to-face in West Salem on Thursday for the CESA-4 regional spelling bee. 

The local CESA bee had been conducted remotely over the internet the last two years, because of COVID-19. 

Out of a field of 22 students representing 12 area schools, five qualified for the Badger State Bee next month in Madison.  The five finalists represent Aquinas, Holmen, Onalaska, and Providence Academy, and two of them also competed in Madison a year ago.

The CESA champion this year is Dean Teale from Holmen Middle School (pictured second from right), who correctly spelled “ramifications” to win the local title.  The winner of the CESA-4 bee in 2022, Gowri Prakash of Onalaska, also placed in the top 5 and will go to state again on March 11th, along with another repeater from last year, Harmanpreet Virk of Holmen. 

The National Spelling Bee is held in Washington during the spring.

Rounding out the five local qualifiers are Helen Onyeabor of Aquinas Middle School and Grant Enockson from Providence Academy. The winner of the Badger Bee in Madison will compete in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. just after Memorial Day.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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