The pressure of standing alone in front of an auditorium filled with people and spelling some of the most challenging words in the dictionary is a stressful experience. Winning a spelling bee requires rigorous preparation, tremendous personal sacrifice and a fair amount of skill.
As such, the news that Palmer Trinity seventh grader Owen Reynolds has won his second school bee in a row is quite an accomplishment.
Equally impressive as his back-to-back wins (He was the school’s champion last year as a sixth grader.) is the fact that either he or his sister, Delaney, a Palmer Trinity 10th grader, has won the school’s bee each of the last four years in a row.
“My sister helps me practice and has been a wonderful inspiration,” Owen said. “I’ve watched her prepare for her own competitions for years and saw the hard work and dedication it takes to be competitive.”
The older sibling’s admiration is mutual.
“I am so proud of Owen and how hard he’s worked over the last few years to prepare,” Delaney said. “He’s very bright and loves to learn so I can’t wait to see what he will accomplish academically in the years ahead.”
Joining Owen in this year’s competition were Palmer Middle School finalists Bryce Smith, Matthew Waldman and runner-up Martin Fourtou. This year’s competition lasted more than 25 intense rounds and included words such as ingratiate, pantomime, pusillanimous, synecdoche and ignominious.
Palmer’s Spelling Bee is part of the Scripts National Spelling Bee, a competition that has been held annually since 1925. The Scripps National Spelling Bee begins with over 11 million children from all over America competing in their school tournaments, then in their state’s regional competition and ultimately at the national finals for the title of America’s Spelling Bee Champion.
Owen was to compete against 400 of the best spellers from all over South Florida, representing Palmer Trinity in the Miami Herald Spelling Bee at Jungle Island on Mar. 11. The winner of that competition will compete in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, from May 24 to 29.
For more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee visit www.spellingbee.com.