you see 12-year-old Andrew Grose of Sheboygan with his nose buried in
his new Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary, don't interrupt his
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.
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.
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
It is no small accomplishment to make it to the nation's capital, either.
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.
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.
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.