Parent Teacher Magazine Union County Public Schools March/April 2019 - Page 14

For UCPS Spelling Bee champion Alexia Vega, great spelling skills run in the family Sandy Ridge Elementary third grader Alexia Vega is no stranger to spelling bees, having spent most of her life watching older sister Eva dominate in spelling bees at the local, regional and national level. But at the UCPS Spelling Bee on Jan. 24, it was finally Alexia’s turn to shine. After breezing through 14 rounds, spelling words such as “anschluss” and “altiplano” with relative ease, the eight-year-old clinched the competition by correctly spelling the word “doyenne.” Doyenne means a highly skilled woman, a fitting word for the young student who has spent weeks preparing for the district competition with her older sister. “I’m really happy that I won the competition and I’m excited to go to the next level,” Alexia said, standing next to Eva. “My sister helped me prepare by asking me words.” Each of the district’s 39 elementary and middle schools sent their school level champion to the UCPS Spelling Bee. For nearly three hours, parents and family members in the audience held their breath as the spellers plowed through the 16 rounds, correctly spelling words such as pochismo, libretto, obsequious, nougat and more. It was nerve-wracking experience to be on the other side of a spelling bee and watch her sister compete, Eva said. As a ninth grader at Marvin Ridge High, Eva is no longer able to compete in spelling bee competitions. “I’m really proud of her but I was so nervous when she was up there. Now I finally feel what my parents felt all those years,” she said, laughing. In the 16th round, Weddington Middle student Daniel Wei went head-to-head with Marvin Ridge Middle student Samir Copp before correctly spelling “reticule” to earn the first runner up title. Moments after the competition was over, Daniel said he is already planning to win the district title at next year’s spelling bee. Now that a district champion has been chosen, Alexia will represent UCPS at the 65th annual Charlotte Observer Regional Spelling Bee, which will be held in February. In the event she is unable to attend the regional competition, Daniel will compete in her place. 103 West South Main Street • Downtown Waxhaw •Offering art classes for ages 4 to 16+ • Birthday Parties • Special Events and Camps Students are welcome to join a 7-week session already in progress for a prorated tuition rate. b Now Offering Adult Art Classes! a To register your young artist, call 704-607-6405 or email jen@thebeanandbelle.com 12 • Mar/Apr 2019 • Parent Teacher Magazine