Calvin Alexander, a seventh grader from Caddo Middle Magnet, is the champion for the second consecutive year of the Northwest Louisiana regional spelling bee sponsored by LSUS and KTBS. His winning word was “nectarivorous,” which describes an animal feeding on nectar. The competition involved 22 spellers from 28 regions and it lasted 20 rounds.
Alexander won out after four final rounds against Rosetta Schultz of Ruston Junior High School, who faltered on “horotelic,” a term relating to evolution at a rate standard for a given group of plants or animals.
Spellers competed on the LSUS campus on Saturday, March 17. Dr. Thomas Du Bose of the LSUS Department of English served as pronouncer for the competition. The judges who tracked every word and verified spelling accuracy were Dr. Jason Rachal, Robin Jones, Jazmin Jernigan, Callie Dean and Loretta Casteen. Spellers studied the 2018 School Spelling Bee Study List and Spell It!, a 1,150-word list provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee and Merriam-Webster.
Words at the regional spelling bee Saturday included words not previously given for study after round 9.
Alexander now advances to compete in the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee in the Washington, D.C. area, and broadcast on ESPN channels May 29-31. In addition to the expenses-paid trip to the national finals for him and a parent, Alexander also wins these prizes:
- The Samuel Louis Sugarman Award is a 2018 United States Mint Proof Set provided by Jay Sugarman, chairman and CEO of iStar Financial, in honor of his father. [Last name] will receive the prize in June.
- The Britannica Online Premium is a one-year subscription for the premier online resource from Encyclopædia Britannica.
- The Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online is a one-year subscription for the official word source for all levels of competition for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
“All of the students were amazing,” said Tulin Melancon, director of Conferences & Institutes in the Continuing Education office at LSUS.
The competition encourages students to set goals and dedicate time to study and prepare. Participation also provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in public speaking and performing under pressure.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee provides the list of words for the regional competition. The Bee reaches an estimated 11 million students across the country and in other parts of the world with the classroom materials it provides to enrolled schools. The purpose of the Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.