After some impressive spelling, a trip to the national spelling bee came to an end in the third round for local 8th-grader Rachel Reese.
Reese, a Thomas Edison Charter School North Campus student, traveled to Maryland this week to compete against 561 spellers in the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Although she was eliminated in the third round by the word “invigilate,” meaning to keep watch, Rachel said it was a fun and educational experience.
“I was kind of disappointed that I spelled the word incorrectly,” Rachel said, but “it was just a really fun experience.”
Rachel was invited to the national spelling bee after taking first place at the second annual Unified Charter Spelling Bee co-sponsored by the Herald Journal in February.
To prepare for the third round of the national spelling bee, the students were not given a list to study.
For the competition, Rachel said she studied different Greek and Latin root meanings.
“I learned a lot about different languages and our language,” Rachel said.
“It’s just been very exciting to be out here and for Rachel to be a part of a such a large spelling bee on this scale,” Rachel’s mom Ann Reese said. “It was just a really exciting thing to see her up on stage and for her to be a part of it in any way.”
Although she felt sad initially after her daughter lost, Reese said she is proud of how hard her daughter prepared for the competition.
“There’s always a huge element of luck in a spelling bee,” Reese said. “You never know what word you’re going to get. Some of the word that the kids spelled today were more challenging than others, and Rachel just happened to get a word that she was not familiar with and had not heard before.”
Although Rachel is in 8th grade and won’t be able to compete next year, Reese said Rachel didn’t let the loss get her down.
“She shook it off really well and we are so proud of her,” Reese said. “I couldn’t be more proud of her just to get up there and try.”
Although the competition schedule keeps the spellers busy, the Reeses explored some of Washington D.C., which was one of Rachel’s favorite parts of the trip.