Groveton High School students bring home a state title

By Tina Alexander - bio | email

By Jeff Awtrey - email

GROVETON, TX (KTRE) - While many of their high school classmates were busy socializing at school and other events, a dedicated group of U-I-L competitors had their heads buried in a dictionary.

Their intense study was needed in order to prepare them for competition.  Just like any other athlete they trained to get their heart, body, and mind ready for what was to be some fierce spelling matches.  Their coach is Groveton High School teacher Margie Evans.  For Evans, winning never gets old. "I'm very proud of my kids. They're very motivated, they work hard and they do a good job."

Part of their motivation is the long history of spelling champions at Groveton High School.  Since 1988, Evans' spelling teams have won three state championships, 10 regional titles, 12 district titles.  She says her secret to success is all about motivation. "We have motivated kids and they work hard and they practice a lot. They start practicing in September."  Her student spelling champs agree.

"Groveton spelling team is dedicated. We work hard and we just put a lot of time and our hearts and souls are in this event," Danielle Traub, GHS Senior, said.

Danielle Traub is one of five members of the spelling team which includes Traub, Marissa Hill, Erica Thompson, and sophomores Tanya Facio, and Desarae Balerio.

In this texting age of L-O-L's and O-M-G's, one would think spelling would be a thing of the past.  Not at Groveton.  "We have 15 hundred words. Around 350 to 500 are vocabulary words," Marissa Hill, GHS Junior, said.

"They do a wonderful job and it's nice to be a part of a winning tradition," Evans said proudly.

These Groveton Indians put in countless hours to prepare for the big event, which became a mere formality at the U-I-L State meet last Saturday.  "The competition? Once you get there and you take the test and you do well you find out how worthy it is and you see how the practice really benefits you, it is very much worth it," Hill said.

Evans said the hard work goes a long way to help prepare her students for their future goals in life.  "I think every one of them has benefited from this. It helps them on their SAT tests. It helps them in college and it helps them as individuals."  And, as friends.  "We all end up being closer because we spend so much time together. We have to help each other out," said Erica Thompson who placed third in state.

Building character, one word at a time.