3 local students go to regional spelling bee

Cary Ashby • Mar 22, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Three Huron County students have earned their way to the regional Ohio University Scripps College of Communication spelling bee Saturday.

Those students are: Dylan Allen, a South Central Middle School sixth-grade student; Isaac Bohne, a League Elementary fourth-grader; and Eman Elkammaty, a Western Reserve Middle School seventh-grade student. They will be among 50-plus contestants in fourth through eighth grade from a variety of area schools.

Allen’s parents are Eric and Danielle, of Greenwich. Bohne is the son of Matt and Erin, of Norwalk, and Elkammaty is the daughter of Mohsen Mabrouk and Zeinab Elsify, of Wakeman. 

Bohne earned second place in the school-wide League Elementary spelling bee.

“Me and the other contestant broke the school record for rounds,” he said. “We studied.”

The new record at League is 21 spelling-bee rounds; the old one was 12 or 13.

After the school competition, students took an online Scripps practice test on spelling, vocabulary and pronunciation. That score qualified them for the regional competition.

An accomplished piano player, Bohne equates spelling to a song and said performing helps him be comfortable on stage during spelling bees.

“I use spelling tricks and tips that me and Mom reviewed,” the fourth-grade student said. “One that Dad taught me for for penitent — p-e-n-i-t-e-n-t — (is) there’s always an ‘i’ in penitent.”

Some methods to remember how a word is spelled is creating a funny, memorable phrase. The Bohne family came up with a trick about spelling “sturgeon” — and it’s not as simple as doing “surgeon” with a “T.”

“A sturgeon is a fish, so it will surge on the ocean, but with a ‘T’,” said Isaac’s mother, Erin, who won her school spelling bee in Shelby.

The 9-year-old boy studies his Scripps spelling list at school and home after he completes his school work.

“I usually take out a book and read with it,” he said.

The students in the regional spelling competition won’t just handle English words; they could be asked to spell words from a variety of languages, including Greek, Spanish, French, Japanese, Arabic and even “old English.”

“I’m really, incredibly proud of him,” said Bohne’s mother, Erin. “He takes the list home and looks at the words. We ask him to just look over the list, say the word out loud and spell it.”

Erin and her husband quiz their son when’s he done studying.

“There are 30 pieces of paper with word lists from all around the country — all around the world. There are over 1,100 on one list,” Erin Bohne said. 

At the regional competition, students will start with the list of 450-plus words from the school-wide spelling bees. After that, they face the list of 1,100-plus words.

“So they not only have to spell the word, they have to be able to define the word,” Bohne said. 

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