It will be Rachel Mueller’s first trip to Washington, D.C., and she is going in style as one of the representatives from Northeast Ohio at the 89th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition in Washington, D.C., in May.
Mueller won last week’s District Spelling Bee finals, edging out seventh-grader Nick Gardner from Avon Middle School. The event is sponsored by the Educational Service Center of Lorain County and the Chronicle Telegram newspaper.
The Learwood Middle School seventh-grader is the second consecutive student from the school to head the National Spelling Bee. Emma Jankowski narrowly missed the cutoff for the semifinals during the event last year.
After five rounds of competition, Mueller and Gardner were the final two spellers standing. After Gardner missed “parquet,” Mueller had to spell that word correctly, plus another word to be declared the winner. She spelled “parquet” correctly and her last word was “threptic” which she spelled correctly to win.
This was the first time she participated in a spelling bee outside of her school competitions.
“I was shaking,” she said. “I can’t believe I won. I almost didn’t come to the competition because I was so nervous. I practiced a lot and do a lot of reading. My favorite subjects in school are science and Language Arts. I can’t wait to go Washington, I have never been there.”
Mueller’s spelling bee adviser, Emily Lee, a seventh-grade language arts teacher at Learwood Middle School, looks forward to practicing for the National Spelling Bee and is proud of her student.
The 89th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition in Washington, D.C., is May 23 – 26. The preliminary bee will be televised 8 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. May 25, live on ESPN3; the semifinals 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. May 26 on ESPN2; and the championship 8 – 10 p.m. May 26 live on ESPN.