Bennett Elementary student Matthew Noel took first place at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s 67th Annual Regional Spelling Bee last weekend. Noel will advance to the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in May.
According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Noel progressed through 20 rounds of competition against 15 students in the region and ultimately won the contest by spelling “nougat” correctly.
“I believe everyone who competes is a winner. You learn definitions and about how to compete and work hard. Winning first place was just a bonus,” said Noel. “Competing helps my vocabulary get better. I like to look for the words I spell out in the real world and put them in context of what I’m reading.”
Noel came in second place last year at the same regional spelling bee. He said that last year he relied on memory only, but this year he learned a lesson about the importance of studying and preparing. He took extra time to study root words, piece words together, read more books and decode puzzles.
When asked what most excites him about going to compete in Washington D.C., Noel answered, “I’m excited I got this far. It’s going to be hard and I’ll have to practice a lot, but I’m just going to enjoy my time there.”
To read more about the regional spelling bee, see the full Lubbock A-J article here.
Congratulations, Matthew! Good luck in nationals!