Portales Junior High School eighth-grader Kyle Gainey reacts to misspelling a word in the 10th round of last year’s Regional Spelling Bee at Clovis Community College. (CNJ file photo)
By Leslie Radford: CNJ Staff writer
Carol Nash has been participating in spelling bees for nearly 50 years.
She won the Quay County spelling bee as a San Jon student in 1957. Then when she became a first-grade teacher at now-defunct Eugene Fields School in Clovis, her principal asked her to help out by pronouncing words for contestants.
“Somehow he found out I was in a county spelling bee when I was in grade school and won,” said Nash. “I guess that qualified me.”
Now retired from teaching, Nash is still helping out with Clovis spelling bees. She will be the moderator for the Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico 2005 Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday at Clovis Community College’s Town Hall.
Her job is to pronounce, articulate and define words for 33 students in grades four through eight. The students are contending for a scholarship to CCC and a trip to Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., later this year.
Nash said the spelling bee hasn’t changed much through the years, though the words are “more complex.”
Nash said she studies pronouncing just as the students practice spelling.
“We used to not have a pronouncer’s manual that tells you how to say the word; it gives the definition and a sentence,” she said. “I used to have to make it up myself. Having the guide makes it a lot easier for me.”
Last year’s regional champion Zach Gillooly agrees the words can be perplexing. His winning word in 2004 was ‘dipsomania’.
“I practice a lot with my dad,” the Yucca Junior High eighth-grader said. “The words get harder every year.”
Gillooly reached the second round of the national spelling bee last year in Washington. He said he would shoot for a return to the nation’s capital this weekend, but does not want to let his confidence get in the way of practicing.
Each student participating received a 2005 Paideia Scripps National Spelling Bee booklet to help them study words in various categories ranging from “world religions” to “food for thought.” The booklet contains more than 3,000 beginning, intermediate and advanced words.
•9 a.m. Saturday, Clovis Community College’s Town Hall
•Some of the more difficult words in the spelling book students use as a study guide:
On the Web:
Scripps National Spelling Bee
For study aids, correct pronunciations of words, and other information about the national spelling bee, visit www.spellingbee.com
Competitors from schools in Clovis, Texico, Des Moines, Portales, Floyd, Grady, Logan and Melrose are:
• Daniel DeFelippis, 9, fourth grade, Barry Elementary
• Sekari Johnson, 11, sixth grade, Bella Vista Elementary
• Raphael Pacheco, 12, sixth grade, Cameo Elementary
• Stephanie Stancell, 10, fifth grade, Clovis Area Home Educators
• Donna Vigil, 11, fifth grade, Clovis Christian Elementary
• Scott Steelman, 13, seventh grade, Clovis Christian Secondary
• Shane Bramblett, 12, seventh grade, Des Moines Elementary
• Jesse McCain, 10, fourth grade, Faith Triumphant
• Reshea Kelly, 13, seventh grade, Faith Triumphant
• Crysten Smith, 10, fourth grader, Floyd Elementary
• Chay Chenault, 14, eighth grade, Floyd Middle School
• Anthony Schweitzer, 12, seventh grade, Gattis Junior High
• Kortney Bone, 10, fourth grade, Grady Elementary
• Tamara Glick, 14, eighth grade, Grady Junior High
• Joshua Lansford, 12, sixth grade, Highland Elementary
• Joseph Sandoval, 11, fifth grade, James Bickley Elementary
• Armando Lopez, 12, sixth grade, La Casita Elementary
• Anastazia Harris, 10, fifth grade, Lincoln Jackson Arts Academy
• Ryan Wood, 11, sixth grade, Lindsey Middle School
• Josh Thackrah,10, fifth grade, Lockwood Elementary
• Evangelina Castro, 13, seventh grade, Logan Municipal Schools
• Timothy Sena, 14, eighth grade, Marshall Junior High
• Richard Rush, 11, sixth grade, Melrose Elementary
• Allison Strohm, 13, eighth grade, Melrose Junior High
• Ashley Chelliah, 10, fifth grade, Mesa Elementary
• Robert Perez, 11, fifth grade, Parkview Elementary
• Mathew Brady, 12, seventh grade, Portales Junior High
• Johnathan Butt, 10, fifth grade, Ranchvale Elementary
• Chris Salazar, 12, sixth grade, Sandia Elementary
• Rustin Harris, 12, sixth grade, Texico Junior High
• Tara Markham, 10, fifth grade, Valencia Elementary
• Zach Gillooly, 13, eighth grade, Yucca Junior High
• Laura Mainowski, 10, fifth grade, Zia Elementary