CINCINNATI – Some very impressive spelling by 126 local elementary and middle school students kicked off a sunny Saturday morning.
And now, two of those Tri-State students are on their way to the National Scripps Spelling Bee after Saturday’s WCPO Spelling Bee held at The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center downtown.
Beginning at 9 a.m., 65 of the best spellers from Region II hit the stage, where WCPO-TV’s anchor Tanya O’Rourke emceed the event.
From the Greater Cincinnati area, it was No. 55, Joseph Delamerced of Summit Country Day’s seventh-grade class who took the title as, "best of the best," beating out his fellow 64 spellers with his correct spelling of “acuminate” in Round 7. The word acuminate means, “tapering gradually to a sharp point, as the tips of certain leaves.”
However, it wasn’t Joseph’s first win. He also won for Region II in 2011 and traveled to Washington, D.C., for the National Scripps Spelling Bee, where he was defeated. Good spelling runs in the family. Both his brother Tino and sister Anna also won the WCPO Spelling Bee during their time at Summit Country Day. Anna is now a freshman at Brown University.
“It feels good [to win]…it was a lot of hard work that paid off,” said the soft-spoken 13-year-old. And he’s ready for the next round in D.C., especially since he said he knows how to better deal with the stress that comes with such an achievement in the nation’s capital.
“[I] know more words now,” he said. But his goal for D.C. is pretty clear-cut. He wants to top his siblings’ rankings at the contest. To achieve that, he will be hitting the dictionary, studying hard with his mom and coach Victoria, who said that it’s all about “practice, practice, practice.”
“It’s not about memorization,” she said of the spelling bee. It’s about analyzing words and languages. Joseph has done just that with three years of Spanish, three years of French, one year of Chinese and two years of Latin already under his belt.
For Joseph, the experience is also very spiritual. His sister gave him a prayer card to hold in his pocket during the spelling bee, which he said, he thought about while he spelled every word, while standing astutely at the slender black microphone stand.
The prayer card read: "I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
After lunch, the next crowd shuffled into the theater. It was time for Region I, which included Northern Kentucky and southeast Indiana, to take their turn in the spotlight.
After nine rounds, the winning word, “foggarar” was spelled correctly by No. 24, Manu Nair, a sixth-grader from Gray Middle School in Union, Ky. It’s the 12-year-old’s second win in a row. He won last year when he competed as a fifth-grader for Shirley Mann Elementary.
“It’s just as exciting as last year,” said the studious boy who crammed all year, including over his summer break.
Although, he credits his mom with working harder than he did, it was his spelling that won him this year's title, beating out 60 other impressive spellers.
“It feels great! [You] have to work harder each time,” he said of competing year after year.
The young student, whose parents and little sister were in attendance to cheer him on, said that spelling doesn’t stop because you’re out of school or after you leave the spelling bee competition.
“You need [spelling] for life.”
Both Nair and Joseph will head to Washington, D.C., to compete with all of the best spellers in the U.S. at The National Scripps Spelling Bee beginning May 28.
In order to participate, students not only had to win their school's spelling bee, but they also had to pass an online test to qualify for Saturday's competition.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest running educational promotion administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company, headquartered in Cincinnati.
About the Bee: http://www.spellingbee.com/
You can contact Noll-Korczyk at email@example.com .
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