Spelling bee champ prepares for repeat

Madison Simpson, 2008 Regional Spelling Bee Champion, competes at the 2008 National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Madison Simpson out-spelled her opponents at the 2008 Regional Spelling Bee.

She made it to Washington, D.C. for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The word osoberry still haunts her. She spelled it o-s-a-b-e-r-r-y at the national competition.

"Standing up there in front of everyone is an adrenaline rush, my knees started shaking," the 14-year-old said. "I take a deep breath and just spell the word."

She has competed in spelling bee competitions since she was in third grade.

Madison has participated in the Regional Bee since she was in fifth grade.

"I don't get that nervous any more," Madison said. "My mom, on the other hand ..."

Her mother, Rosalie Simpson, said she squeezes her husband John's hand each time Madison steps up to the microphone.

"Just watching her up there is so nerve-wracking," her mother said.

Madison's twin siblings, Adam and Audrey, have started competing in UIL spelling because of her success.

"We study together," Madison said.

As an eighth-grader, this is the last year she is eligible to compete.

"This is bittersweet. I'm sort of glad that this is my last year, but at the same time, I know I'm going to miss it," Madison said.

Pauline Negrete

Madison Paige Simpson

AGE: 14, GRADE: 8

SCHOOL: Cuero Junior High School

COUNTY: DeWitt County Spelling Bee tied for first

HOBBIES: Playing the piano, basketball, track, softball and volleyball

PARENTS: John and Rosalie Simpson

William Garrett Morgan

AGE: 12, GRADE: 7

SCHOOL: Cuero Junior High School

COUNTY: DeWitt County Spelling Bee tied for first

HOBBIES: Photography, traveling

PARENTS: Gary and Nan Morgan

Brianna Lea Ledwik

AGE: 12, GRADE: 7

SCHOOL: Ganado Junior High School

COUNTY: Jackson County Spelling Bee winner

HOBBIES: Cheerleading, softball, reading, hunting, fishing, riding 4 wheelers

PARENTS: Shannon and Krissi Ledwik

Pauline Negrete

AGE: 10, GRADE: 4

SCHOOL: Edna Elementary School

COUNTY: Jackson County Spelling Bee runner-up

HOBBIES: Reading and swimming

PARENTS: Pablo and Maria Negrete

Travis Monk

AGE: 14, GRADE: 8

SCHOOL: Sweet Home High School

COUNTY: Lavaca County Spelling Bee runner-up

HOBBIES: Hunting, fishing, playing baseball, basketball, football and drawing

PARENTS: Allan and Juliet Monk

Dakota Raabe

AGE: 14

GRADE: 8

SCHOOL: Hallettsville Junior High School

COUNTY: Lavaca County Spelling Bee winner

HOBBIES: Swimming, track, cross country and playing basketball, golf

PARENTS: Alan and Susan Raabe

Katherine Snyder

AGE: 12

GRADE: 6

SCHOOL: Refugio Elementary School

COUNTY: Refugio County Spelling Bee winner

HOBBIES: Reading, playing football, photography and being outdoors

PARENTS: John and Melissa Snyder

Logan Myers

AGE: 14

GRADE: 8

SCHOOL: Refugio High School

COUNTY: Refugio County Spelling Bee runner-up

HOBBIES: Riding motorcycles, skateboarding and outdoor activities

PARENTS: Richard H. and Sherrie A. Myers

Kevin Chen

AGE: 11, GRADE: 5

SCHOOL: HJM Elementary School

COUNTY: Calhoun County Spelling Bee winner

HOBBIES: Playing soccer, video games and the piano

PARENTS: Jen and Chin Chen

Shaughnessy Howell

AGE: 11, GRADE: 5

SCHOOL: HJM Elementary School

COUNTY: Calhoun County Spelling Bee runner-up

HOBBIES: Playing piano, soccer and canoeing

PARENTS: Mark and Lauren Howell

Madalene Garcia

AGE: 11, GRADE: 5

SCHOOL: Goliad Intermediate School

COUNTY: Goliad County Spelling Bee runner-up

HOBBIES: Playing basketball, softball, volleyball and reading

PARENTS: Delia Porter

Sara Pnacek

AGE: 13, GRADE: 7

SCHOOL: Goliad Middle School

COUNTY: Goliad County Spelling Bee winner

HOBBIES: Playing sports and cheerleading

PARENTS: Brian and Cindy Pnacek

Megan Willmon

AGE: 12, GRADE: 7

SCHOOL: Crain Middle School

COUNTY: Victoria County Spelling Bee winner

HOBBIES: Reading, art, playing chess and games

PARENTS: Shawn Willmon

Andrew Welder

AGE: 10, GRADE: 5

SCHOOL: Northside Baptist School

COUNTY: Victoria County Spelling Bee runner-up

HOBBIES: Playing piano, video games and riding four wheelers

PARENTS: Mr. and Mrs. Pat Welder

  • REGIONAL SPELLING BEE

    WHEN: 6 p.m. March 24

    WHERE: Victoria College Fine Arts Auditorium, 2200 E. Red River St.

    The Regional Spelling Bee is open to the public

    The Regional Bee CHAMPION will receive:

    A $100 ...

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  • REGIONAL SPELLING BEE

    WHEN: 6 p.m. March 24

    WHERE: Victoria College Fine Arts Auditorium, 2200 E. Red River St.

    The Regional Spelling Bee is open to the public

    The Regional Bee CHAMPION will receive:

    A $100 U.S. Savings Bond donated by Jay Sugarman in honor of his father, Samuel Louis Sugarman

    One-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online donated by Encyclopedia Britannica

    Webster's Third New International Dictionary donated by Merriam-Webster

    All-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in Scripps National Spelling Bee sponsored by Victoria Advocate

    Second to fifth-place prizes include:

    Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition donated by Merriam-Webster

    Two more one-year subscriptions to Encyclopedia Britannica

    Two $20 Amazon.com gift certificates donated by Scripps National Spelling Bee