Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

NZ Champion Speller goes To US

MEDIA RELEASE
May 21

NZ Champion Speller goes from “a” to “zyzzogeton” for US Spelling Bee


A five-kilogram monster, the Webster's Third New International Dictionary, is traveling with the New Zealand Vegemite Spelling Bee’s champion, 13-year-old Thomas North, to the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals in Washington DC next week (26 May – 31 May).

The dictionary contains 450,000 words spanning ‘a’ to ‘zyzzogeton’ helping Thomas, in his last stages of preparation for the competition, learn hundreds of the English language’s less common words.

Thomas, from Hamilton Boys’ High School, is the country’s fourth representative at the 81st Scripps National Spelling Bee, the longest run academic competition in the world and held more times than the Academy Awards.

His mother, Katherine North, and Nicola Daly, a lecturer in the Department of Arts and Language Education at Waikato University, have coached Thomas.
Nicola has been helping Thomas with language related issues including a history of the English language and origin, sounds and characteristics of English words.

Thomas says he is looking forward to the whole Washington DC experience and is trying not to be too overwhelmed by the prospect of competing in the ‘Olympics of Spelling’.

“I would like to get through the preliminaries, into the quarterfinals and then I am going to try and win,” he says.
Thomas won the place at the Scripps finals, along with return airfares for two, accommodation and spending money in New Zealand’s Spelling Bee finals in March. He will spend three days sight seeing in Washington along with the other 288 competitors.

The winner of the US Final will walk away with an impressive prize package including US$37,000 in cash.

The New Zealand Vegemite Spelling Bee is supported by Vegemite, New Zealand Listener, ZM, and Franklin Electronic Publishers.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Kakī: World’s Rarest Wading Bird Released In Mackenzie Basin

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the birds will add to the 60 released into the Tasman valley earlier this month, significantly boosting the wild population. More>>

ALSO:

IHC Tribute: Colin Meads

"While Colin is best known for rugby, to us he is one of a small number of distinguished IHC New Zealand Life Members recognised for their significant support for people with intellectual disabilities," says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Tilting at Turbines - The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now both broken the Big Fifty barrier, which seems to have brought a whole new level of angst to their midlife adventures ... More>>

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>

ALSO:

NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland