A spell of a day

Print Article

  • BETHANY BLITZ/Press Joseph Moran was surprised when a cannon blasted streamers right after he was announced the North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee champion. The homeschooled fifth-grader will get an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the end of May.

  • 1

    BETHANY BLITZ/PressJoseph Moran was surprised when a cannon blasted streamers right after he was announced the North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee champion. The homeschooled fifth-grader will get an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. for the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee atthe end of May. On the left is runner up Maria Aguiar, an eighth-grader from Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy.

  • BETHANY BLITZ/Press Joseph Moran was surprised when a cannon blasted streamers right after he was announced the North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee champion. The homeschooled fifth-grader will get an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the end of May.

  • 1

    BETHANY BLITZ/PressJoseph Moran was surprised when a cannon blasted streamers right after he was announced the North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee champion. The homeschooled fifth-grader will get an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. for the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee atthe end of May. On the left is runner up Maria Aguiar, an eighth-grader from Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy.

By BETHANY BLITZ

Staff Writer

Is it “mediocer,” “mediocre,” or “medeocre?

The correct answer is m-e-d-i-o-c-r-e, but Joseph Moran was not so Saturday at the North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee.

The fifth-grader, who is homeschooled with NIHEA, out-spelled 38 other students grades four through eight to win the bee. “Mediocre” was the championship word.

“I wasn’t too nervous; I do well in front of a crowd,” Joseph told The Press after the bee. “I did tons of studying, too.”

Joseph will now advance to the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in late May. He gets a one-week, all-expense-paid trip courtesy of the Regional Spelling Bee sponsor, Hagadone Newspapers.

He also received a Samuel Louis Sugarman Award Certificate, a one-year membership to Britannica Online Premium edition, a one-year membership to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online, a $25 Amazon Gift Card, a plaque, a medallion and a North Idaho College events pass for the 2017-18 school year.

“I’m extremely proud and excited,” said Joseph’s mom, Sally. “He’s always been a good speller and reader. He has a very precise personality.”

This year’s runner-up is Maria Aguiar, an eighth-grader from Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy. She slipped up on the word “ostentatious” after correctly spelling “poltergeist” in the previous round.

“I had a lot of fun and I really liked it,” she said. “I was nervous because I knew it was my last year and I wanted to do better this year.”

Her mother, Dolores Duarte, said “Maria was a champion to me.”

According to the judge’s initial thought, Maria slipped up in round 12 on “forsythia” because she forgot the “a” on the end. Someone appealed that decision, so judges reviewed video and agreed she had, in fact, spelled the word correctly.

The bee went on for two more rounds before the championship round.

All 39 participants, from 47 schools in 10 districts across North Idaho, including private-school and home-school divisions, received medallions and NIC events passes.

Mindy Patterson, the spelling bee coordinator, said this year’s bee, which was 15 rounds, went much longer than last year’s eight-round bee.

“I love to watch the kids spell; they’re spelling words that some people can’t even pronounce,” she said. “And the winner is a fifth-grader, that’s just amazing.”

Print Article

Read More Local News

Police tried to arrest suspect before Pease died

March 26, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press North Idaho citizens aren’t just sad over the murder of Kelly Pease. They’re angry. There is a widespread sense that, somehow, the justice system failed the 37-year-old mother of five — leaving her...

Comments

Read More

Locals gather to root Gonzaga on to first Final Four

March 26, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Gonzaga head coach Mark Few had already emptied the deepest portion of his bench Saturday when Rui Hachimura hit a 3-pointer in the waning moments, giving the Bulldogs a 24-point cushion. Top-seeded...

Comments

Read More

Southern Idaho folks take in Cd’A experience for all-star hoop games

March 26, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d'ALENE — Donning a cowboy hat, T-shirt and jeans, southeast Idaho farmer Heath Peterson sat in the Rolly Williams Court stands on Saturday, his attention locked onto his sweet-shooting daughte...

Comments

Read More

Goodwill’s new Post Falls location opens Friday

March 26, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest will open the doors Friday to its new 24,000-square-foot facility at 4040 E. 16th St. (east of Highway 41) in Post Falls. It replaces the six-year-old faci...

Comments

Read More

X