"I think it inspires some to try to achieve that goal themselves," she said. One middle school student in particular has spoken with her about Elizabeth's achievement.
"She said, 'I saw that girl go all the way to Washington, and that's what I want to do,'" the principal said.
That student and other elementary and middle school students from 23 counties will have that chance if they advance to the Gazette-Mail Regional Spelling Bee, scheduled for March 16 at Capital High School.
The event is co-sponsored by the Higher Education Policy Commission and will be televised by WSAZ's MyZ TV.
The SMART529 program again will award the regional champion with a $2,500 college savings account.
Participating counties each send two students to the regional competition. Counties determine their own method for deciding which students attend, but most hold bees at the school and county levels to narrow the field and send their county champion and runner-up.
To help students prepare for the event, the Gazette-Mail has published a "Bee Prepared" study guide. Copies will be sent to county spelling coordinators, who will distribute them to participating schools.
The guide is full of tips and words students might come across as they study to become the next spelling bee champion.
Wynne isn't sure that student will come from Raleigh County again. But after 15 years of leading her school and seeing children head to the bee, she knows that anything can happen.
"You never know. You just never know," she said.
Reach Dave Boucher at 304-348-4843 or david.bouc...@dailymail.com. Follow him on twitter at Dave_Boucher1.