Spelling bees run in French Canadian family’s blood

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ROSWELL, Ga. – A Roswell family of French Canadians dominated Hillside Elementary and Holcomb Bridge Middle schools in their spelling bees this year. The family moved to Georgia six years ago and the children did not speak English.

This school year, the youngest family member, fourth-grader Emmanuelle Lamarche won the Hillside Elementary School spelling bee Dec. 17. This competition was won in the previous year by her older sister Marianne, who was then in fifth grade.

Marianne, now in sixth grade, attends Holcomb Bridge Middle School along with older brother Philippe, who is in seventh grade. Philippe and Marianne competed against each other Jan. 11 in the Holcomb Bridge spelling bee in the final. They made school history by being the first siblings to be winner and runner-up. Marianne narrowly beat out Philippe.

As winners of their respective schools, Emmanuelle and Marianne will compete next at the county level.

Each year, Hillside Elementary School holds a spelling bee competition for its fourth- and fifth-graders. Holcomb Bridge Middle School holds the same competition for its sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. The winner of the competition then represents the school at the county level where all school winners from fourth grade to eighth grade compete against each other. If the student places at the county level, they then go on and compete at the district level, and eventually at the state and national level if they keep placing in each competition.