Brown County seventh grader wins regional IU Bee
Seventh grader Chloee Robison of Brown County Junior High School took home the title of regional spelling bee winner Saturday after 15 rounds that ended with her spelling “bureaucracy” correctly.
She will compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the Washington, D.C., area in May.
The audience filled the Monroe County Public Library auditorium to watch 25 students participate in the 2015 IU Bee, sponsored by IU Journalism and the School of Education. The regional bee draws students from Brown, Greene, Monroe, Morgan and Owen counties.
Winners move on to the national bee. As champion, Robison will receive funding for travels and hotel accommodations for herself and her mother, who will travel with her. Saturday, she received a copy of Merriam-Webster’s’ Third New International Dictionary; the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, which is a 2015 United States Mint Proof Set; and a one-year subscription to Britannica.com.
The two runners-up, Tara Ganguly of Binford Elementary School and Yu-Chen Huang of Jackson Creek Middle School. Both will receive copies of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition.
After the bee, Robison said she had prepared day and night for the event.
“I had my friends quiz me in my classes, and I asked my teachers how to pronounce some words,” she said. “I’m glad I don’t have to stay up late nights anymore. I think I’m going to go home and sleep.”
This will be the first trip to the nation’s capital for both Robison and her mother, Cathee Copper.
“It was crazy studying. I’m ready for her to have some fun,” Copper said.
Judges were Gena Asher, digital content manager for The Media School; Anne Kibbler, director of communications and media relations for the school; and Amara Stuehling, associate instructor and doctoral student at the School of Education. Allan Murphy, formerly of the (Bloomington, Ind.) Herald-Times, was the bee’s pronouncer for the 12th year.
High School Journalism Institute director and journalism lecturer Teresa White and School of Education communications director Chuck Carney coordinated the event. Journalism Ambassadors and members of the School of Education’s Dean Advisory Council helped guide spellers to the vocabulary test conducted before the bee and to the stage.
“It’s something that has become an outreach project that is fun for us,” White said. “There’s a little drama, a little excitement, and, clearly, these are kids who care about words and language. And that’s something we want to support.”
This is the fourth year the event has been sponsored by IU Journalism and the School of Education, and it is the first year a vocabulary test was introduced to the regional competition.
“The vocabulary test wasn’t required, but it was encouraged for us to do it because they started it at the national bee last year,” White said. “It’s a good thing because we get to recognize more students, and we allow the students to see what that portion of the national competition will be like.”
Runner-up Ganguly answered the most vocabulary questions right, scoring a 22 out of 25 on the test.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is set for May 24-30, and Robison already is thinking about how to prepare.
“It’s going to be a lot of repetition — and a lot more flashcards,” she said.