WRITE STUFF: Kairo Byrne (pictured), aged 10 of Alstonville Public School won one of the North Coast regional finals of the Premier's Spelling Bee at Alstonville Primary School.  
WRITE STUFF: Kairo Byrne (pictured), aged 10 of Alstonville Public School won one of the North Coast regional finals of the Premier's Spelling Bee at Alstonville Primary School.   Patrick Gorbunovs

Kairo C-A-T-A-P-U-L-T-E-D into state finals of spelling bee

LOCAL student Kairo Byrne has C-A-T-A-P-U-L-T-E-D herself into the state finals of the Premier's Spelling Bee after taking out one of the regional finals yesterday.

The 10-year-old Alstonville Public School student, who took first place in the senior section of the spelling bee with the word 'catapult', said she couldn't believe she'd won.

Around 90 students from 23 local schools were competing at Alstonville Public School yesterday, in one of five North Coast regional finals of the competition.

Woodburn Public School's Bailey Trustum, 12, took out 2nd, and said he was so happy and relieved.

Both Kairo, an aspiring writer or scientist and Bailey, a future astrophysicist, said the spelling bee had been a nerve-racking experience, but one they had both enjoyed very much.

While Bailey said he loved the "challenge" of a spelling bee, Kairo said she simply "loved words".

A lot of practice and dictionary diving had led up to the big day, they said, while convening teacher and Ballina mayor, David Wright, joked that the day had been "more exhausting than a council meeting."

"It is incredibly stressful, and it really is a growing process for many kids," Mr Wright said.

"This is, by far, much harder than public speaking - it's one mistake and you're out. It's so sudden death, it's cruel."

"(But) it's one of the learning processes, it really helps the children."

More than 400 students from more than 100 local schools have been participating in the finals, which will continue next week before the state finals, which Kairo and some others from across the region will head to in November.

The State Final will be broadcast live on ABC radio.

Spell it out

Some of the words put to the kids - could you spell them?

  • Contentious
  • Panacea
  • Extrapolate
  • Botulism
  • Egalitarian
  • Desiccated


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