By Alice Brown
Thirty Shelburne Community School (SCS) students from grades 3-8 competed in the Scripps Spelling Bee on Thursday, Feb. 21. The participating students had been the top performers in a written qualifying test the previous week.
Principal Allan Miller offered nervous spellers candies and squeeze toys prior to their turns at the microphone. During the first round, the words generally weren’t much of a challenge to these expert spellers. But, as the rounds progressed, so did the difficulty of the words. “Arrest” and “climate” were replaced by more challenging words like “suspicion” and “flirtatious.” For the sixth and seventh rounds, only five competitors remained, attacking words like “parliamentary” and “indefatigable.” In the eighth round, third place finisher Lena Kerest, a 4th grader, stumbled on “delicatessen.” In the ninth round, second place finisher Sophie Dauerman, a 5th grader, misspelled “levee” to leave Thomas Daley, a 7th grader, to spell “drudgery” correctly. Then Daley needed to spell the tenth round word properly in order to win the title. He did, confidently spelling “tepid” and thereby garnering the championship.
What makes a great speller? All three top finishers worked very hard to be the spellers that they are. Each showed amazing persistence in their studies to learn these words, spending hours reviewing the spelling lists prior to the competition. Big congratulations to our champions for their diligence and great performances!
As the champion, Daley will represent SCS at the Vermont State Spelling Bee at St Michael’s College on Wednesday, March 13.