News

Islander Middle School student is regional spelling bee champ

Kela Harrington will head to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in June. She won the regional competition last weekend.  - Elizabeth Celms/Mercer Island Reporter
Kela Harrington will head to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in June. She won the regional competition last weekend.
— image credit: Elizabeth Celms/Mercer Island Reporter

Islander Middle School student Kela Harrington, 13, is the region’s new spelling bee champion. Harrington won the King and Snohomish Regional Spelling Bee last Sunday after three hours of out spelling 54 competitors.

Although an avid reader and writer, the seventh-grader said she was “shocked” to win the contest.

“This was my first time in a spelling bee. I didn’t know I was going to get very far,” she said modestly.

According to Harrington, the hardest word in the 12-round competition was “traumatropism.” When stumped, Harrington said she would break a word down to its roots, prefixes and suffixes to get a better mental image of its spelling.

Harrington’s father, Jonathan Harrington, attributes his daughter’s success to her passion for reading and writing. The spelling bee champion agrees.

“I don’t do word puzzles, but I read a lot and write in journals,” she said, adding that she enjoys discovering new words. “I have a spelling notebook where I keep words I think are interesting.”

Now that she has won the regional championship, Kela Harrington will travel to Washington, D.C., where she has never been, to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, June 2-4. The teenager’s father will accompany her.

The new regional champion also won a dictionary, online encyclopedia subscription, tickets to the Woodland Park Zoo and a case of personalized Jones Soda. Her travel expenses to Washington D.C. are covered.

Community Events, April 2014

Add an Event
We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Apr 16 edition online now. Browse the archives.