Lauderdale County's top spellers were on display Friday at the area spelling bee at Meridian Community College.
More than 80 of the best spellers in fourth through eighth grades from public, private and home schools took part.
"The winner from ten years ago is in college now in Rhode Island, on a full scholarship," said spelling bee coordinator Barbara Williams. "The winner from five years ago is in college here at MCC on a full scholarship. So we think the spelling bee is a springboard for good things academically for the children. "
The winner, 8th grader Emma Martin of Northeast Middle School, will move on to the state spelling bee March 16th.
The winning word was wampum, which are traditional, sacred shell beads of eastern woodlands tribes.