SIDNEY -- West Elementary students showed what friends are Thursday when they quietly gathered in the hallways to cheer the academic success of one of their own.

Sixth grader Tucker Hardin made to the final seat in the Cheyenne County spelling bee in January, walking away with the first place trophy and excited to be representing his friends and fellow classmates at the regional spelling bee in Omaha. That level of competition is scheduled for this weekend. 

Students and faculty of West Elementary thought if athletes can get a send-off, why can't academic successes, including spelling.

Thursday afternoon, as students were getting anxious for the final bell to ring, they made their way to the hallway between bells. As Tucker turned the corner to go back to his class from the office, he was greeted by the excitement from his friends and supporters.

He and his family traveled to Omaha Thursday in preparation for the Midwest Spelling Bee.