Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Congratulations to new word champion

By the Advocate Editorial Board
March 24, 2014 at 4:05 p.m.
Updated March 23, 2014 at 10:24 p.m.

For a quarter of a century, the Victoria Advocate and Region III Education Service Center have partnered to bring together the top spellers in a six-county area who vie for a chance to participate in the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C. There are a plethora of stories about remarkable students who amaze and surprise us with their knowledge and recall of such an extensive vocabulary.

This 25th anniversary year will add to those tales. The three finalists battled for the last 17 rounds, exhausting the official word list booklet and requiring the the judges go to a list of additional words. Third place went to three-time DeWitt County co-champion, sixth-grader Brady Watson, who, with much confidence and wit, kept us all entertained as he joked with the audience - "no offense" as he laughed at his word misogynist. Finishing runner-up was third-grader Stella Motl, who, at her bright young age of 9, was able to recite words like glockenspiel, tchotchke and schipperke without hesitation. And finally, our winner, Muriel Cotman, rarely needed help with a definition or origin of a word and fired off combinations of letters, spelling things like bobbejaan, barukhzy and bildungsroman as if they were part of her everyday conversation. To the spellers - you were all fabulous. We look forward to an equally exciting bee next year and for several years to come with all the young spellers who were winners in their respective counties in this 25th regional bee.

We were honored to have three past regional champions with us in the audience as well as parents of past winners and community members who experienced the excitement of the bee for the first time. If you've never witnessed the tense, palpable excitement of a spelling bee, we encourage the community to take the time to come observe the amazing gifts of these students. It's an experience that will humble the best word zealots, as well as educate and amaze.

Behind the scenes of such events are always the unsung heroes who make the memories possible. These past 25 years would not be possible without the hard work of Nan Gainer and Cathy McCormick from Region III. Their dedication and enthusiasm is evident in the time and effort they put in to organizing, coordinating and promoting the bee throughout six counties. We applaud your hard work and truly appreciate your service to this fantastic event throughout the years.

And to the sponsors of this year's event, we give thanks for such a dedicated community. Our top level sponsors - Formosa, H-E-B, Invista, Pioneer Natural Resources and Port Lavaca Ford Auto Group - as well as our other spelling bee sponsors - Stewart Title, Liberty Tax Service, Caterpillar, Regional Steel, VCS Communications and WellsFargo - made this 25th anniversary event a special occasion for all those who have been a part of this competition throughout the years and those best and brightest participants of the 2014 regional spelling bee. We give a c-o-l-o-s-s-a-l thanks to all our sponsors' p-r-o-d-i-g-i-o-u-s support for our community, education and, most of all, our children who have worked i-n-c-e-s-s-a-n-t-l-y to be winners.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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