View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Eighth-grader places 17th in national spelling competition

Rio Norte student has fun in Washington, D.C. while making it to the ‘Killer Round’

Posted: June 13, 2009 8:13 p.m.
Updated: June 14, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Rio Norte Junior High School student Paige Vasseur, 13, knew the National Spelling Bee was about more than just a race for a place — she managed to balance having fun with a bit of success.

Paige took 17th place out of 293 competitors at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. on May 28, and had a great time doing so.

“I had so much fun,” said Paige of her experience as one of 41 semifinalists to make it past the first three rounds of the bee. “I learned so much more than I ever thought I could, and I made some great friends too.”

Mission Valley Bank honored Paige Tuesday with a $250 savings bond in recognition of her performance at the Scripp’s National Spelling Bee.

After making it through the fourth round by correctly spelling the word, “brachylogy,” meaning the practice of conciseness in speech or writing, the eighth-grader moved on to what would be her last round at the annual competition.

“Round 5 was called the ‘Killer Round’ by people at the spelling bee,” Paige said.

“My word was “skeumorph,” and I was like, ‘What?’”

Paige misspelled the Greek word, which means an ornament or design on an object copied from a form of the object when made from another material.

The word can be found is the Tiscali Dictionary of Difficult Words, among others.

Paige was one of 21 out of 36 semifinalists to be eliminated in the round, which was televised nationally on ESPN and ABC television networks.

She looked at her time at the competition as a fun learning experience.

“I know that everything I learned can help me on future tests and in lots of ways through the rest of my life,” Paige said. “I know what I need to work on and what I don’t know. I think that’s the best way to learn as much as possible.”

Paige also made friends with her spelling peers at the bee, and even started a club with fellow competitors called, “The Side Hat Club.”

“Some kids and I decided to wear hats celebrating (dictionary-publisher) Merriam-Webster and make it our club so we could cheer each other on while on stage,” Paige said.

To acknowledge one another as friends more than competitors, each club member would look at each other, tilt their hat to the side and say, “Word.”

“I think it was important to cheer each other on during the competition,” Paige said. “It helps to know you have friends up there so you’re less nervous.

“The phrase has never felt truer,” Paige said. “It’s not about winning. It’s about having fun.”

Paige will not be eligible for the Scripps National Spelling Bee next year, as the competition is limited to students who are in eighth grade or below.

But that doesn’t mean she won’t be spelling.

Paige has been invited back to Rio Norte next year, to help future English students through the school’s annual spelling bee and give them tips on how to spell.

“I want to share the methods I use to help others,” Paige said.

But for Paige, English is only the beginning.

“I want to learn new languages now,” Paige said. “I think I will go for Latin and Greek.”



Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...