Richton Park, IL.–(ENEWSPF)–January 29, 2016—Kian De Guzman, 11, a 5th grade student at the Sauk Elementary School, Richton Park, took first place in the Matteson School District 162’s annual Spelling Bee.
Kevin Carter, 13, in 7th grade at the O. W. Huth Middle School, Matteson, was the second place winner in the Bee.
Thirty-six of the top spellers from the District’s six schools, grades 3 through 8th, competed in the Spelling Bee held recently at Freedom Hall, Park Forest.
Spelling is a family matter in the De Guzman household, as Kian and his older sister, Aliah, a freshman at Southland College Prep Charter High School, have an opportunity to practice together. Aliah took first place in the Matteson District 162 Spelling Bee last year and Kian was the second place winner.
Kian will now represent the Matteson District in the next round of competition. The competition culminates at the Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals in Washington, D.C. in May.
“It’s most rewarding to see the energy and enthusiasm that all of the competitors in the Bee have for such an old fashioned skill as spelling in today’s digital world when so many writers rely on Spellcheck to monitor their work,” said Dr. Blondean Davis, Superintendent of Matteson District 162.
“Like all of our spellers, Kian works very, very hard all year long, studying “The Spell It” booklet that contains thousands of words that are asked in Spelling Bees,” said Jan McCoy, a retired Matteson District 162 teacher who together with Toby Skonecke of the District 162 staff, coordinates the Spelling Bee.
“Kian’s technique is not unlike other spellers from the Matteson District 162 who’ve been trained to ask questions whether or not they know the word. So, it’s not uncommon to hear our students ask Spelling Bee officials: What is the language of origin? Can you use it in a sentence? May I have a definition? Are there alternate pronunciations? Could you please repeat the word?” explained McCoy.
Dr. Robert H. Sloan, professor and head of the Computer Science department at University of Illinois at Chicago, served as the Spelling Bee pronouncer.
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