BTMS Home to District's Top Two Spellers

Friday, January 19, 2018 - 9:37am

According to Merriam-Webster, the word avocations means “subordinate occupations pursued in addition to one’s vocation especially for enjoyment; hobbies.” For Buddy Taylor Middle School 8th grader Keelin Cowart-Goldberg, one of her avocations might be spelling. She walked off the stage at Wadsworth Elementary School as the 2018 Flagler School District Spelling Bee champion Thursday night after correctly spelling “avocations.” She now moves on to the Regional Spelling Bee, to be held in Jacksonville on March 9th.

Following the trophy presentation, Keelin was relieved. When asked what was going through her mind when that Championship Round word came up, after seven previous rounds, Keelin said it was “Am I doing this right? Because I did not know whatsoever what I was doing.” She admitted she was not certain of the correct spelling of that championship word.

As she prepares for the Regional Championship, Keelin doesn’t have to travel far to find a study partner. Buddy Taylor Middle School 7th grader Alisha Jageswar was the runner-up. The two happen to share the same school bus too! Alisha failed to properly spell “sanguine.” However, Alisha remained sanguine (confident, optimistic) of success. Since she's a 7th grader, Alisha has one more year to compete. Ironically, Alisha was Buddy Taylor’s spelling champion and Keelin was the runner up!

Flagler Schools congratulates all 14 school representatives for giving everyone in the audience a great show and we wish Keelin the best of luck as she moves on, towards a possible spot in the National Spelling Bee in the Washington, DC area later this spring.



Flagler Schools strives to be the nation's premier learning organization. Our mission is to ensure educational success through high expectations and innovative thinking in a safe learning environment to empower students to reach their full potential as responsible, ethical, and productive citizens in a diverse and changing world. We can be reached online at, or and via telephone at 386-437-7526.