2 from Fay-West participate in Western Pa. Spelling Bee
Two students from the Fay-West area ended their experience with spelling bees in Pittsburgh over the weekend at the 63rd annual Western Pennsylvania Spelling Bee.
On Saturday, approximately 106 students from the region gathered at Children's Hospital to see which one would outspell the rest and advance to Washington, D.C., for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
A student familiar to the national bee is Megan Antoon, 13, of Connellsville, a student at Connellsville Junior High School and champion of last year's regional bee.
Antoon's spelling bee story started last year when she competed in the Daily Courier Public School Spelling Bee and won. She impressed many because that was her first spelling bee. She decided to participate because of her love of words, spelling and English.
What Antoon did next was become the first student in the Connellsville area to win the regional spelling bee and advance to the nationals. She lost in the second round at nationals, tying for 51st place.
“I'm more nervous than last year,” Antoon said, adding that she felt there was more pressure for her to win and go on to nationals again.
“I think I'll do all right,” she said. “I think I'll at least make it to the finals.”
Antoon did just that; she was one of 35 students in the four separate semifinal competitions to go on to the final round later in the afternoon.
Antoon's semifinal competition lasted only four rounds with Antoon correctly spelling the words “rucksack,” “vulnerable,” “impetuous” and “virgule.”
“I knew the words a little better than last year,” Antoon said after her semifinal with other students in the region.
Antoon said she saw some familiar faces at the bee.
However, a fresh face to the regional bee was Grace Nowicki, 14, of Scottdale, a student at Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School.
At last year's local bee, Nowicki came in second. She won this year to qualify for Pittsburgh.
“I'm a little anxious and excited,” Nowicki said prior to her semifinal competition, adding that she studied the list of words provided to them by Scripps.
While she thought some of the words were tough to spell, she thought she would do OK.
Nowicki lasted three rounds, correctly spelling “coyote” and “apostrophe,” but was eliminated in the third round when she misspelled the word “gulag.”
“I did better than I thought I was going to do,” Nowicki said after the competition, noting she was hearing words other spellers misspelled that she never heard before. “I did my best.”
The final competition had local documentary filmmaker Rick Sebak as the pronouncer and had the 34 student spellers compete for over three hours.
Antoon outspelled the majority of the competition, correctly spelling “caboose,” “orthodox,” “mayonnaise,” “edelweiss,” “sustain,” “marsupial,” “predecessor,” but had to leave the stage when she misspelled the word “lassitude” and came in ninth place.
“I'm kind of disappointed,” she said, adding that she also tried spelling the words the other students received in her head. “I did OK. I got most of the them.”
Antoon said the experience with spelling bees in two years, which took her from Connellsville to Washington, D.C., was something that further strengthened her love of words.
Because of the girls' ages, they won't be qualified to participate in any further spelling bees.
Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- HObo Model Railroad Club display back in Connellsville
- RAPTOR program explained in Connellsville
- Black Friday could be a wet one in Connellsville, Mt. Pleasant areas
- Fayette twins injured as newborns expected to be adopted by foster mother
- Judge rules in favor of Seven Springs Mountain Resort over road closure
- McCarthy: Family of Incarcerated to meet in Connellsville
- Organizations benefit from grants
- Donations keep Connellsville Area Community Ministries food bank afloat
- CASD’s Mustache Club lends hand
- Cost-cutting move upsets students in Frazier School District
- North Union VFW band gives back with concert