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Local girl competes in state spelling bee

ATLANTA - Angela Mo didn't flinch when faced with words such as "subterfuge," "altruism" and "ipecac" during Friday's state spelling bee.

The Creekland Middle School seventh-grader remained on stage as 12 of her peers from throughout the state were eliminated from the 48th annual Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) State Spelling Bee.

It was "occlusal" that damaged Angela's chance to compete in May in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championships. The 12-year-old's spirit, however, remained unharmed.

"It was just really fun," Angela said. "Hopefully, I'll be back next year."

Twenty students competed in the event, won by Julia Denniss, 12, from St. Jude the Apostle in Fulton County. After 14-year-old Sarah Landman from Bremen Middle School misspelled "erythromycin," Julia correctly spelled that word and "concatenate" to become Georgia's top speller.

"I'm just so excited and happy to be going to Washington (D.C.) for the nationals," Julia said.

In addition to her first-place trophy, an all-expense paid trip to the national championship and a $400 award from the GAE, Julia took home a dictionary, an Amazon.com gift certificate, a one-year online subscription to Encyclopaedia Britannica and a $100 U.S. savings bond.

As the runner-up, Sarah took home a second-place trophy, $100 from GAE, a dictionary and a one-year online subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica.

All contestants received a $25 award from the GAE, a certificate of participation and a state bee lapel pin.

"I can't say enough about what these young people have accomplished," GAE President Jeff Hubbard said. "Everyone associated with their efforts should be very proud, and on behalf of GAE, I congratulate each and every one of them."

Angela, who advanced to the state bee after winning the district competition, said she thinks her experience will help her succeed next year.

"I was just really excited because I've never been to this level before," she said.