Conyers siblings build legacy as word warriors
Check out a video of the Duncan sisters spelling a prehistoric favorite, here.
CONYERS—The Duncan family has a spelling addiction. On the way to school, on the way to practices, on the way home, they’re spelling. So, for 13-year-old Jazz Duncan, winning the Rockdale County Spelling Bee on Feb. 7—her third year in a row—was no pressure, just another day in their world.
“This is what we like to do. We’re often calling out random words to each other. Our whole family stays on the hunt to test each other,” said Jazz, whose 15-year-old brother, Jaire, and 10-year-old sister, Zora, are spelling bee champs in their own right.
With Jazz Duncan’s recent win, a sibling from the Duncan family has won the Rockdale County bee trophy for six years running now.
Jaire, now in 10th grade at Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, was the first spelling champ in his family. He won the county spelling bee three years in a row when he attended Memorial Middle School. Jazz, an 8th grader at Memorial Middle School, followed in her older brother’s footsteps, also winning three years consecutively. And young Zora, a sixth grader at Memorial Middle School, followed in Jazz’s footsteps. Last year, Zora placed second at the county’s Spelling Bee. She’s looking forward to Jazz going off to high school next year with the hopes of replacing her as the new champ. Jazz’s entrance into high school will mean the two sisters will no longer have to slug it out at the middle school with one another.
“We both push each other to stay on top. We think of different words randomly and have fun with it,” said Zora. “Sometimes, we make each other nervous at competitions because we both know the other one can spell so well.”
Heather Duncan often coaches her children. She says they are so successful in competing because they don’t just try to cram words in for memorization but rather make the words a part of everyday life.
“With school work being first and then other activities like dance, we spell whenever and
The sisters don’t just spell. They compete in reading bowls, play soccer and are avid dancers, with moves in the styles of ballet, tap, modern and of course, jazz, the form of music that the