After weeks of studying, 113 students representing 33 area schools came out to put their skills to the test at the Buchanan County Spelling Bee.
“I know some of these kids prepare all year, some of them prepare all year long and it’s exciting to see what they’re able to accomplish,” Spelling Bee Director Karen Hyde-Lipanovich said.
After several rounds of competition, the top five spellers from the fifth and sixth grade level joined the top five seventh and eighth grade spellers to determine who would advance to the regional spelling bee. The regional spelling bee is a preliminary competition leading up to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.
Bee officials say despite the competitive aspect, the focus of the spelling bee is to develop strong academic skills.
“It helps you in any area of study, because understanding how language goes together prepares you for any area of academic study,” Lipanovich said.
Bode Middle School seventh grader Sophia Nguyen will return to the regional bee for a second year in a row after winning the bee on the word Miscible.
Nguyen said she studied with her family to prepare, but she was very lucky.
“The thing about spelling is it’s kind of like 25 percent studying and 75 percent luck. You can always study as much as you want, but there is always going to be that one word you’re going to get and you’re not going to know how to spell it,” Nguyen said.
Seventh grader Natalie Burnett came in second and will also advance to the regional spelling bee. Sylvia Nguyen and Ludy Goodman will act as the first and second alternate for the regional bee.
Both Nguyen and Burnett will advance to the Northwest Missouri Regional spelling bee on March 3, at St. Francis Xavier.