POMERENE — Aaron Edington will be representing Pomerene School at the Cochise County spelling bee on Feb. 13.

This marks the second year that Edington, a 12-year-old seventh-grader, has emerged as Pomerene’s top speller and qualified for the county event.

“I won our school spelling bee last year when I was in the sixth grade and I won it again this year,” Edington said.

When asked how he prepares for spelling competitions, Edington said his mother helps him by reading medical terms for him to spell, and his language arts teacher, Annette Richards, challenges him by giving him “a lot of hard words to spell.”

“And there’s a spelling site that I look at,” he added.

Agricultural, cemetery and cocoa are examples of some of the words Edington spelled correctly to get through his school’s spelling competition.

The son of Kimberly and Kevin Edington, Aaron has lived in Pomerene all of his life.

“I love going to school in Pomerene and I have a lot of friends here who were rooting for me in the school bee, and they’ll be rooting for me in the county bee.”

Aaron’s father, Kevin Edington, is a Pomerene science and social studies teacher, who admits that his son out-spells him.

“Aaron is a much better speller than I am, which is sad since I’m a teacher,” he said. “When it comes to spelling, he’s got a leg up on me.”

While Aaron Edington enjoys the spelling competitions, he does get nervous when he’s spelling in front of a large crowd.

“The most nerve-wracking thing about spelling bees is getting up there in front of all those people,” Aaron said. “But once I start spelling the word, I get more relaxed.”

Some of Aaron’s stage fright may be alleviated this year because of a change in how the competition is being structured.

Current COVID conditions are causing the Cochise County School Superintendent’s Office to hold the spelling bee in a virtual format this year, based on recommendations by the county’s risk management department. Contestants and school coordinators, administrators and other school-affiliated adults are asked to be at the speller’s school during the event to “ensure a stable connection and clear space for the competition,” according to an email sent by Ben Reyna, who is serving as the county spelling bee outreach coordinator.

The county school superintendent’s office will be holding Zoom meetings with school coordinators to discuss the event’s format and platform, and to troubleshoot any technical or logistical issues that may need to be addressed, Reyna noted in his email.

Meanwhile, Aaron Edington is continuing to brush up on tough spelling words, with hopes of qualifying for the state spelling bee on March 20.

“At the county spelling bee last year, I misspelled ‘yankee’ because I forgot to ask the pronouncer for the definition,” Edington said. “That was my first county spelling bee, so I’m hoping to do better this year.”