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Sheboygan Press Editorial: Young Speller on a Path to Success

If you see 12-year-old Andrew Grose of Sheboygan with his nose buried in his new Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary, don't interrupt his studies.

Andrew is likely prepping for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May, where he will represent Sheboygan and Wisconsin after winning the state spelling bee in Monona on Saturday.

Andrew's winning word at the state level was "nematognath," which is the scientific name for catfish.

We are proud of his accomplishments so far and wish him the best of luck when he goes up against the best spellers in the country. A seventh-grader from Lake Country Academy in Sheboygan, Andrew is the son of Greg and Jennifer Grose.

Both his school and his parents must be very proud today.

The national spelling bee is no small event, either. It will be televised in its entirety by - of all networks - ESPN, which is more noted for broadcasting college football and basketball and professional basketball.

It is no small accomplishment to make it to the nation's capital, either.

While many of us have trouble with even the most common of words - and rely sometimes too heavily on a computer spell-checker, Andrew and the other youthful spellers will be faced with words most of us never heard before, much less ever used in a sentence.

And, there is much more than memorization involved in the preparation. A thorough knowledge of where the word originated and how it has evolved is critical to success.

And being a good speller means having the perseverance to study and the ability to pay attention to detail.

In this day of abbreviated communication through text messaging and blogging, it is refreshing to see someone who can spell the old-fashioned way - and do it well.

Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
March 18, 2009