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Smart students show strength of public ed.
Feb 14, 2013 | 2103 views | 1 1 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rebecca PALMER
Clipper Editor
Rebecca PALMER Clipper Editor

recently had the privilege of judging a science fair for fourth and fifth graders at Holbrook School in Bountiful, then a few days later helped host the Davis Clipper/Utah Islander Spelling Bee semifinals for the north end of the county at Layton High School.

We cover all kinds of problems and controversies with education, including everything from athletes being tested for drug use, discussions about proper funding levels, the value of the new Common Core math curriculum and more. However, the ways I have been involved prove that there is a lot going right in Davis County schools. 

My interactions were with some of the best elementary school students in the district, true, but the students left me with great hope for the future of our county and great admiration for all the teachers, and especially the parents, who have guided these kids.

For example, I was delighted to see one of the science fair students take on a project about the difference between solar power and electricity available from common household outlets. He simply compared the two sources’ ability to charge electronics, but his research topic is one that will be vital to the world he inherits as an adult.

At the spelling bee, I was amazed to see students correctly spell not only common words, but also ones they had never heard such as “babushka.” In many cases, the children spelled words that professionals often write incorrectly.

Afterward, I found that the winners were far more articulate than many of their peers. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise С good spellers are good readers, so would be well-spoken С but it gave me great hope. I now know for certain that at least some of today’s children are interested in scholastics and intellectual pursuits. They aren’t all sexting on their gadgets or playing Angry Birds, as it sometimes seems.

Tuesday, the semi-finals for elementary school winners on the south end will take place at 7 p.m. at Woods Cross High School. The finals will be March 21.

With today’s spell checking technology, do you think spelling and handwriting are still important? Write to us at or call at 801-295-2251 Ext. 126 with your thoughts. 


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February 18, 2013
Thanks for the great post. I work at Zaner-Bloser, an educational publisher of handwriting, reading, writing, and spelling textbooks. Every year, we run a National Handwriting Contest that attracts hundreds of thousands of students from across the country. We just finished judging this year's contest and it's quite inspiring to see that--despite today's technology--students take pride in their penmanship and enjoy "showing it off." These students and their teachers truly understand the value of this foundational skill.
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