111 Enter Capital Region Spelling Bee


111 Enter Capital Region Spelling Bee

Schenectady

Imagine being on the Proctors Theatre stage, the chandeliers blazing down on an audience starting raptly as you decide how to spell “macron”, a word most Americans never need to learn. (Macrons are lines over a word’s syllables to indicate its pronunciation.)

That’s the sort of pressure 111 children from Capital Region 4th through 8th grades endured in Tuesday’s annual regional spelling bee. The winner gets a free trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. May 27 through June 1. Other prizes include $200 donated by the Times Union, a tablet donated by Hannaford and an online Encyclopedia Britannica. Scripps chooses the words used in the bee so every regional contest is using the same list. A video is made of the competition in case a pronunciation or judges’ decision is disputed.
“There were two challenges so far,” said Times Union marketing and brand manager early in the afternoon.
A parent, guardian or teacher of a competitor can challenge the trio of judges’ decision if they believe the child offered an accepted alternate spelling or the word was pronounced with a misleading inflection. The capital region bee’s official pronouncer is Linda Rudnick, retired Albany City Schools assistant superintendent.
“I practice pronouncing the words and it is a lot of pressure but I love doing this,” Rudnick said, her smile sweeping across the stage filled with nervous children as they hurried off to a 15-minute break.
She exudes empathy onstage and even when a child misspells, she says encouragingly, “You only missed by one letter” or “Honestly, that’s how I would have spelled it, too.”
Interestingly, one disputed word was fairly common, at least among fans of yummy Viennese desserts. The judges’ ruled “strudel” was the correct spelling. A contestant spelled it “streudel” and judges later found that spelling used occasionally.
Some 2018 contestants seemed poised. Some thanked their parents and grandparents for helping them practice for the bee. Proud father David Chapin said his family took an extremely relaxed approach when son Zander, a 7th grader from the Greater Amsterdam School District, decided to enter.
“Zander’s been reading and spelling words off signs and TV captions since he was four years old,” Chapin said. “You know how adults spell words out to keep a secret from little kids in the family? We never could do that. Zander always knew what we were spelling. One of his teachers said the spelling bees depend on talent and luck so we just hope he’ll be lucky, have fun and get words he knows.”
The 2018 winner is TK who won with the word TK.

Source: Times Unition
111 Enter Capital Region Spelling Bee

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