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LJ's Kassi Gilbert reigns supreme in the hierarchy of spellers in Bullitt County

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Kassi Nicole Gilbert had made that trip on the stage before.

But, this time, she was determined to do even better.

After finishing fifth overall as a fourth-grader, the Lebanon Junction Elementary student showed her supremacy in winning the 2009 Bullitt County Spelling Bee.

Matching the elementary and middle school winners, Gilbert and Nichols Elementary’s Sean Brady battled until the 14th round of words before a winner would be declared.

It was no hallucination when Gilbert correctly spelled hierarchy to win the title on Tuesday evening.

The 11-year-old daughter of Don and Jess Gilbert said that her experience competing last year really helped her this time around.

“I learned how to control my nerves,” said Gilbert. “I wasn’t as nervous being in front of all the people.”

Still, Gilbert said standing in front of even a friendly audience could get a bit uneasy.

The fifth-grader said her mother always worked with her on spelling words and her teacher, Traci Moore, also helped a lot.

Her strategy was to try to spell the words given to other competitors as a way to relax and stay focused in the event.

Her favorite subjects are math and spelling.

Her proud parents were joined by their equally proud son, Kyle.