Twenty-five of North Texas’ brightest young spellers gathered at TCU Wednesday for the opportunity to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Ansun Sujoe, a 12-year-old, won the TCU College of Education Regional Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the championship word "eschewal.”
It took Sujoe 26 rounds to win the competition and outlast 11-year-old Ben Benjadol, the runner-up.
Sujoe was awarded an all-expense paid trip to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. The competition is scheduled to take place on May 28.
He also received a 2013 Regional Spelling Bee championship trophy, a Merriam-Webster dictionary and the opportunity to audit a class at TCU for free. Auditing a class means attending class sessions without receiving credit or being required to take examinations.
Sujoe, a sixth-grader at Parkwood Hill Intermediate within Keller ISD, said he was able to ease his nerves by picturing himself at home during the competition.
He said his daily studying of the dictionary with his father was what prepared him for success at the bee, and that he is excited to visit the capital.
The entire competition included 457 schools from 16 different counties in North Texas, Jan Lacina, associate professor of literacy and associate dean of graduate studies within the TCU College of Education, said.
Students competed at their individual schools before moving on to one of the 25 Area Bee’s that were used as qualifiers for the Regional Spelling Bee at the university, according to Lacina.
The 25 Area Bee champions and Regional Bee competitors ranged from ages eight to 14 and elementary school to eighth-grade, Lacina said.
This is the third year the university has sponsored the Regional Spelling Bee in collaboration with the Star-Telegram, which has sponsored the bee for over 30 years, Lacina said.
Lacina said it is important for the university to continue to outreach to schools and children within the region, as well as demonstrate the value and importance of literacy.
“Many of these kids, it provides them an opportunity to participate in a competition in an area in which they have great interest,” said Lacina. “It gives the kids the opportunity to further their skills in language and spelling, as well as learn the origin of words.”