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Archive for Saturday, February 5, 2011

South Junior High School seventh-grader credits victory at Douglas County Spelling Bee to studying on snow days

Susan Rockhold, a South Junior High School seventh-grader, reacts after she spelled “shrapnel” correctly for the last word needed to win the Douglas County Spelling Bee Saturday at Southwest Junior High School, 2511 Inverness Drive.

Susan Rockhold, a South Junior High School seventh-grader, reacts after she spelled “shrapnel” correctly for the last word needed to win the Douglas County Spelling Bee Saturday at Southwest Junior High School, 2511 Inverness Drive.

February 5, 2011

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South Junior High student wins Douglas County spelling bee

Susan Rockhold, 7th grader at South Junior High, won the Douglas County spelling bee. Her winning word was shrapnel. Enlarge video

Susan Rockhold, a South Junior High School seventh-grader, reacts after she spelled “shrapnel” correctly for the last word needed to win the Douglas County Spelling Bee Saturday at Southwest Junior High School, 2511 Inverness Drive.

Susan Rockhold, a South Junior High School seventh-grader, reacts after she spelled “shrapnel” correctly for the last word needed to win the Douglas County Spelling Bee Saturday at Southwest Junior High School, 2511 Inverness Drive.

Seth Peters of Raintree Montessori smiles after placing second in the Douglas County Spelling Bee Saturday at Southwest Junior High School.

Seth Peters of Raintree Montessori smiles after placing second in the Douglas County Spelling Bee Saturday at Southwest Junior High School.

Jacob Horton of Prairie Park Elementary looks up as he tries to spell his word during his turn at the Douglas County Spelling Bee Saturday at Southwest Junior High School.

Jacob Horton of Prairie Park Elementary looks up as he tries to spell his word during his turn at the Douglas County Spelling Bee Saturday at Southwest Junior High School.

South Junior High School seventh-grader Susan Rockhold credits Mother Nature for her win Saturday at the 2011 Douglas County Spelling Bee.

She was a little behind in studying for the annual event — then came the snow.

Susan spent the entire two snow days she had off from school to work on her spelling bee prep: reading and spelling all day.

“It’s a lot of words I had to study,” she said.

The extra work paid off as she beat out 28 other fifth- through eighth-graders to earn her spot at the Sunflower Spelling Bee in March and a chance to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in June.

In the ninth and final round, Susan squared off on stage at Southwest Junior High with Raintree Montessori student Seth Peters.

Seth, who also qualifies for the state spelling bee for his runner-up finish, misspelled “contiguous.” Susan ended the hour-long bee by correctly spelling “amarillo,” a type of tree, and finally “shrapnel,” for the win.

“Yes, yes, I won,” said Susan of her immediate thought after uttering the last letter. “I have succeeded.”

The spelling comes somewhat naturally for Susan, who also credits her affection for the written word for her success at the bee.

“I love to read, which really helps my spelling,” she said.

Susan displayed an unassuming demeanor during the event, walking slowly up to the podium and quietly spelling her words. She said she had a few butterflies up on stage but nothing compared to the anxiety her dad, Ed, was experiencing in the audience.

“I was so nervous,” he said.

Susan’s mom, Rebecca, joked about her husband’s face contortions as he wiggled away wishing his daughter along.

It was all worth it, though.

“I’m so proud,” Rebecca said. “I’m just about in tears.”

Comments

notajayhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

South Junior High School seventh-grader credits victory at Douglas County Spelling Bee to studying on snow days"

So ... she learned more at home than in school. Wonderful.

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GMom05 3 years, 2 months ago

Another Wakarusa Valley Elementary alum proves how that school continues to Achieve Success Together! Clearly she's had a good elementary education, along with strong family and community support. Way to go Susan! Congrats!

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Yide 3 years, 2 months ago

Grace and I are incredibly proud of you Susan. Not just because you won the spelling bee, but for so many other reasons too. Love you.

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 2 months ago

Congratulations to Susan and thanks to the LJW for a good report on an event that means a lot to a lot of people.

Good job!

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ophiuchus 3 years, 2 months ago

(As much as I hate the intrinsic luck-of-the-draw aspect of spelling bees,) I love a spelling bee.

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Boston_Corbett 3 years, 2 months ago

Congratulations to Susan, and all the other youth who stepped up to the plate to participate! You are all winners in my dictionary.

Some families use snow days to study and learn, others complain and instead drive clear across town to go to Dunkin Donuts on dangerous streets in dangerous weather.

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ksriver2010 3 years, 2 months ago

Awesome, a well balanced, intellectual child! And that runner up, Seth, has cool hair. Funny how the 70's hairstyles are popular again.

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feetup 3 years, 2 months ago

Congratulations Susan! The written word is a powerful tool! READ on kid!!!!

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Barclay 3 years, 2 months ago

Way to go Susan! We are very proud of you! Hard work and diligence! A fantastic reward for all of your hard work!

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