Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
Melanie Meador, 11, of Independence, uses an online spelling program called "Spelling City" to practice spelling.
August 27, 2013
POLK COUNTY -- To say Melanie Meador and Amanda Crowe are good spellers is probably an understatement.
Calling them great spellers may be more appropriate. This weekend, they have a chance to be named the best speller in the state in their respective age group.
Melanie, 11, an incoming sixth-grader at Talmadge Middle School in Independence, and Crowe, who was part of Perrydale High School's Class of 2013, will represent Polk County in the Oregon Statewide Spelling Championship Saturday at the Oregon State Fair in Salem.
Melanie will compete in Division 1 for first- through fifth-graders, and Crowe will participate in Division 3 for ninth- through 12-graders.
Polk County's two representatives earned their way to the contest by winning their classroom, school, district and county written spelling tests. Saturday's competition, hosted by the nonprofit organization Oregon Spellers, will pit county winners from across Oregon against each other.
Meador is no stranger to such contests. She also competed in this year's Oregon National Geographic Bee at Western Oregon University.
"Geography is harder," Melanie said when asked about the differences between the two contests.
When it came to taking the countywide test at Willamette Education Service District, however, Melanie took nothing for granted.
"I didn't know whether I would do well or do bad," she said. "I had seen most of them (spelling words), but there were a few that I didn't recognize."
While Melanie may have been shocked she won the contest, her mother had a different reaction.
"I wasn't surprised," she said. "But it was nice to see how she compared with other students."
Melanie won't be taking her competition lightly. Since qualifying for the state contest in the spring, she has been practicing, mostly using the website "Spelling City."
Last week, with the state contest rapidly approaching, Melanie said she's nervous about competing at the fair.
"There's a lot more people and I have no idea who they are," she said.
Crowe is also a contest veteran, having placed third in the county spelling competition while in fifth grade.
Now attending the University of Portland, Crowe is majoring in nursing. She will return this weekend for the competition and, like Melanie, is feeling a little anxiety about putting her skills to the test.
"I am excited, though, because I'm almost certain there will be other kids there who have worked really hard to get there, and it'll be cool to be surrounded by exceptionally bright and talented high school-aged kids," she said.
What: Oregon Statewide Spelling Championship, hosted by Oregon Spellers.
When: Saturday, with Division 1 at 10 a.m., Division 2 at 11:15 a.m. and Division 3 at 12:30 p.m.
Where: Oregon State Fairgrounds, Hart of the Garden Building, Salem.
Of note: Competitors in each division will be given 25 words and two tiebreakers. The top three contestants in each division will be awarded cash prizes.