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Charlotte and the bee

Timber Trail Elementary spelling bee winners Charlotte Harris with principal Michele Radke and runner up Claire Keesey.

“Triglycerides,” “candelabra,” and “scruple” are all hard words to spell, but “Ayurvedic” is even harder. For Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) fifth grader, Charlotte Harris, the word “Ayurvedic” was not only hard to spell, it was the winning word that advanced her to the district’s top 25 to go to the state spelling bee.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is an annual event that reaches 11 million students each year. The process begins at the school level with a spelling test to first qualify for the school spelling bee. Qualifying participants receive a four-page packet full of words from less difficult progressing to more difficult to study.

As the winner of the TTE spelling bee, Harris received an even larger packet of words put out by Scripps. The packet had three levels of words with the last level including several words Harris had never seen before. Her preparation included family members asking her words to spell and writing out any misspelled words several times for additional practice. “It really helped when I looked up the word in the dictionary,” added Harris.

Charlotte Harris qualified as one of the top 25 district spellers to advance to the state bee. Qualifiers received a state qualifier t-shirt and plaque.

During the district bee, Harris competed against 75 students and qualified for the oral spelling bee. Among 33 students, Harris was one of the 25 finalists who qualified to move on to the first phase of the state competition.

Charlotte Harris (standing) was of 75 district students who participated in the two-part district bee. Top qualifiers from the written vocabulary test advanced to the district oral spelling bee. Harris’ winning word ,“Ayurvedic,” advanced her to the first phase of the state bee.

Although Harris did not advance to the state oral spelling competition, she is happy with her hard work and all she accomplished during the process. She recommends any student interested in participating in his or her school spelling bee to “go for it” whether you win or not. “It is an incredibly rewarding experience. The other spellers in the bee are so nice, and you might even become friends because you share a common interest in words,” added Harris.

By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Tara Harris



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