Rochester Catholic Schools 8th grader is the Southeast Minnesota Spelling Bee Champion
Twelve spellers (six from each Regional Spelling Bee) competed in the Final Spelling Bee on Tuesday, February 21, at 9:00 AM at the Southeast Service Cooperative in Rochester. These twelve students were narrowed down from seventy-six (76) students from 37 districts in Southeast Minnesota who participated in the two Regional Spelling Bees on February 7, 2017, coordinated by the Southeast Service Cooperative.
Thomas York, an 8th grade student from Rochester Catholic Schools was declared the champion after correctly spelling the word topnomyic. Thomas also participated in the Final Bee in 2016, where he came in 3rd place.
Thomas advances to the 90th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee from May 27 – June 2, 2017. He won a trip (for himself and one adult) to Washington, D.C. (donated by Southeast Service Cooperative). He also received a first place trophy, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (provided by Scripps National Spelling Bee), 2017 United States Mint Proof Set (The Samuel Louis Sugarman Award from Scripps), a one-year subscription to Britannica Online Premium and Valerie’s Spelling Bee Supplement Booklet.
Exceptional spelling runs in the family, as Thomas’ father, Michael, advanced to the National Spelling Bee in 1982 from Saginaw Valley, Michigan.
Over the past 10 years, six of those years have resulted in Rochester Catholic Schools students advancing to the Final Bee. Five of those six years Rochester Catholic Schools students have advanced to the National Spelling Bee.
Alizeh Rizvi, an 6th grade student from Rochester Public Schools - Friedell, was the 1st Runner-Up. Alizeh received a trophy, and Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (donated by Merriam-Webster), Valerie’s Spelling Bee Supplement Booklet, and a $100 Barnes & Noble Gift Card.
Laura Gebur, an 8th grade student from St. Mary’s Owatonna, was the 2nd Runner-Up. Laura received a trophy, Valerie’s Spelling Bee Supplement Booklet, and a $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card.
Other students participating in the Southeast Minnesota Final Spelling Bee were:
Wren Clinefelter, Austin Public Schools, 8th grade
Maggie Bruns, Blooming Prairie Public Schools, 8th grade
Ava Becken, Northfield Public Schools, 7th grade
Blake Kajewski, Red Wing Public Schools, 7th grade
Reyana Leise, Red Wing Public Schools, 7th grade
Isha Kapoor, Rochester - Bamber Valley, 5th grade
Lukas Singer, Rochester Catholic, 7th grade
Isaac Nerstad, Spring Grove Public Schools, 5th grade
William Sailer, Wabasha-Kellogg Public Schools, 8th grade