Moses Middle School sixth-grader Maddie Moore took the award during the Friday competition at East Paulding High School.
The district hosts a winner from each elementary and middle school in the county — totaling 28 students — to compete in the annual competition.
The first round of words knocked out 13 students, and the second round eliminated 10.
In round eight it was down to the final two spellers, Moore, 11, daughter of Laurie and Eric Moore; and Jones Middle School eighth-grader Agnes Keary, 13, daughter of Jones and Rose Onwonga.
The girls battled it out by spelling words like “hors d’oeuvre,” “newfangled,” “sputnik,” “borax” and “catkin,” which is a flowering part of a bush.
Once the bee was down to two competitors, if a student spelled a word incorrectly the other student had to spell the same word and a new word correctly to win.
In the final round Keary misspelled “temporal,” and Moore spelled it correctly. This led to the final word, “stucco,” which Moore spelled correctly to win.
She has won the event three years in a row, and now both girls will represent the county at the District IV Spelling Bee Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. at the DeKalb County Board of Education in Stone Mountain.
They will be competing against students from DeKalb, Fulton and Douglas counties and Decatur City Schools.
Moore has been practicing spelling since she was in the first grade, she said. Her mother practices spelling words with her to get her ready for the competition.
“I got fourth last year [in District IV], so I’m hoping to get first or second this year,” Moore said.
Terri Harris is the spelling bee coordinator for the school district.
“I expect to see her [Moore] in the [district] finalists this year,” Harris said.
Moore said her goal is to make it to the national spelling bee competition in Washington, D.C.