First-time Spell Bowlers preparing for competition | Schools
Caleb Wassmer admits, it's easier to spell his favorite word, Czechoslovakia, on paper than it is out loud. Especially with the pressure of a news camera rolling just a few feet away.
Caleb is a 6th grader at North Elementary School in Poseyville. He's one of eight students from the school who will be aiming for spelling perfection Thursday night at the annual Spell Bowl competition at Central High School.
“I know I’m gonna do good, but I don’t know how it’s going to turn out,” Caleb said.
“I think we’re going to do pretty good. We had our final test last night... I’m really proud of them, they’ve worked really hard,” said Sarah Eckels, one of North Elementary's Spell Bowl coaches.
The team is fittingly named the "Star Spellers" (North's mascot is the Stars). This is their first year in existence.
“We got a late start. Most of the teams started in May, they got the list. And we didn’t start until September, so we haven’t had much time,” Eckels said.
Eckels says the 14 students who make up the Star Spellers have been sharpening their skills by taking spelling tests and playing some spelling games. Caleb also practices on his own.
“Every few days at my house I’ll go back and study about 100 words, maybe,” he explained.
Caleb says he joined the Star Spellers for a few reasons.
"A lot of my friends were doing it, and I just thought it would be a good experience and help me just to spell words better. It’s helped me come through with my spelling and get good grades on that.”
As for the hardest kinds of words to spell? Caleb says for him, it's those that need to be capitalized and hyphenated. And after misspelling his favorite word during our interview, there's probably a good chance he'll nail it if 'Czechoslovokia' comes his way during the competition.
The Spell Bowl competition begins at 5pm Thursday. It is organized by the Indiana Association of School Principals.
Local schools participating include:
North Elementary School, Poseyville
South Terrace Elementary, Wadesville
Stockwell Elementary, Evansville
Westside Catholic Schools, Evansville
Yankeetown Elementary, Yankeetown
Chandler Elementary, Chandler
Cynthia Heights Elementary, Evansville
Dexter elementary, Evansville
Hebron elementary, Evansville
Good Sheperd Elementary, Evansville
Oak Hill elementary, Evansville
St. Philip Elementary, Mt. Vernon
Highland Elementary, Evansville
John H. Castle, Newburgh
Sharon Elementary, Newburgh
Scott elementary, Evansville