The Spelling Bee


Natalie Hinegardner, Writer


It’s the national spelling bee. There are two contestants left. The next word could decide the next middle school championship. Who will win and represent the school? A seventh grader named Brayden Smith.

The Spelling Bee is something that happens once a year and all students compete.  Students compete in the Language Arts classroom Spelling Bee.  Those 27 compete to represent the school at the Regional Spelling Bee. Mrs. Karen Kampschmidt, language arts teacher, is in charge of the Spelling Bee and how it runs. In order to prepare for the spelling bee, students have to memorize words to the best of their ability. “The winners are given a list of words to study. These words are just a sampling of the words that could be given at the Bee,” said Mrs. Kampschmidt. Winning the school Spelling Bee is a big deal, but competing in a Regional Spelling Bee is really an accomplishment. Mrs. Lisa Birkley, reading teacher, said, “We did have someone compete in the National Spelling Bee. Clay Campbell in 2011! He did not win the National, but it was a huge deal to make it to Nationals.” When students advance on during the Spelling Bee, they usually expand the amount of students completing. “The winner goes against all of the school winners from the Greater Cincinnati Area in the Regional Bee,” said Mrs. Kampschmidt.

Six grade students that have just come to the middle school may be excited about being in this kind of Spelling Bee for the first time. Meredith Mason, sixth grader, was one of her grade winners, and she is excited about being in the spelling bee. “It is super cool because I signed up for my class Spelling Bee, and I never thought I was going to win. When I did, I was so excited, and it is also really cool because both my brother and me, who goes to school at Moyer got into the school Spelling Bee. That is really cool. It’s also weird to think that I will be going against eighth graders and really cool because they are two years older than me,” said Mason. Being the youngest in the school spelling bee can be nerve racking for the students. Mason said, “I am kind of nervous to be in it because I have never been in a school one before so I’m kind of nervous because it is sometimes scary to talk in front of a lot of people.” However, there have been sixth graders that have won the school bee. Henry Thompson won in 2020 as a sixth grader and again in 2021 as a seventh grader.

Being a seventh grader during the Spelling Bee, they had last year to learn the rules.  they can learn from their mistakes and make improvements to do better the next year.  Smith, who won the school spelling bee this year, prepared a little differently this year to make sure he got it right. Smith said, “My mom would say a word, and I would spell the word how I would think it was spelled. If I was right, we moved on. If I got it wrong, she would spell it herself and her spelling it really helped me remember the words.” His preparation for the Regional Spelling Bee was similar to the school Spelling Bee. He said, “For the most part I did the same thing as my preparation for the school spelling bee, but because there are SO many words, most of which neither I nor my mom know how to say. I will have to do a lot by myself,” said Smith. As a seventh grader and already knowing how the Spelling Bee runs, Smith was not as nervous as he was last year.  Smith said, “I wasn’t really nervous because I had memorized every word, but I was a little bit because the setting of the library was kind of nerve wracking and felt a little weird.”

As an eighth grader, the Spelling Bee can either be really easy for you or really difficult. Hannah Nieporte, eighth grader, was nervous about the Spelling Bee but also excited. Nieporte said, “I was pretty nervous to be in front of a lot of people, and I worried that I’d mess up an easy word. It is exciting, though, because I managed to win a classroom Spelling Bee.” Being an eighth grader and having two years of the spelling bee, eighth graders are be more prepared in comparison to the sixth graders. Therefore, the preparation could look a little different for eighth graders rather than sixth graders. “To prepare for the next round of the spelling bee, I’ve been looking at a review sheet that my teacher gave me and just going over the word and how to spell it multiple times,” said Nieporte.

The Spelling Bee is where students go head-to- head against each other, and it can be nerve racking but also very exciting for students. The students do a lot to prepare and test their knowledge against their fellow classmates. Congratulations again to Brayden Smith for winning the school spelling bee. He will move onto the Scripts Howard Regional Spelling Bee.  He will compete against other schools in this area on March, 19, 2022 at WCPO Channel 9.