Spell Bowl qualifies for State
The LaPorte High School Spell Bowl team qualified to participate in the virtual state competition on November 10th.
LPHS stamped their way to state by scoring 59 total points. The Slicers will battle nine other schools to see who is the top spelling team in Indiana.
Mrs. McGuire, the team coach and English teacher, is thrilled to have the Spell Bowl team compete in a State competition for the first year in recent memory. She is proud of the team for making it so far.
“I’m so incredibly proud of our team. Our spellers really try their best and care about the team members and competitions. The English language is complicated. Often nothing is spelled the way that it sounds. I’m continually impressed with our team’s knowledge and expertise. Going to State is a fun adventure that I’m honored to take part of with this memorable group of stellar humans,” McGuire said.
Breanna Wilson, a student on the spell bowl team, was ecstatic after hearing the Slicer team made the cut.
“It feels awesome. I can’t say I’m surprised because we worked really hard. I’m excited,” Wilson said.
Senior Jill Maudlin earned a perfect score in the qualifying competition, which will allow her now to compete in a special contest against all other students who also earned a perfect score.
The competition that allowed the team to move on to State was done virtually at LPHS due to COVID-19 on Monday, November 2nd. McGuire was there to monitor students and provide assistance with technology if needed. Similar to elementary and middle school spelling bees, students are given a list of words to memorize for the competition. Words are worth more points depending on how difficult they are. A student can earn up to 12 points per round.
All of the practices for this year–two times a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays–have also been conducted online with Google Forms and audio recordings.
“The benefit with online practices was being able to go back to previous practices and work with the words again in order to get more confidence in the words before the competition,” McGuire said.
Being able to compete at school in a familiar environment proved to be beneficial for students. Competitors found it less stressful to be with their team in a classroom. The competition was held in Mrs. Niksch’s room, while students were socially distanced. To ensure safety and accuracy within the competition, monitors are making sure students are using their technology correctly and not for any advantages.
“The coordinators of the competition have pre-recorded rounds displayed on Youtube, which makes the competition run faster. Each contestant has to complete a Google Form that they first have to authorize that they are who they say they are. I have to monitor to make sure students don’t type or adjust words after the round is up. Once students submit their form they can see right away how they did,” McGuire said.
The Spell Bowl team will once again meet in Mrs. Niksch’s room to compete on Tuesday, November 10 at 3 p.m.
Congratulations to the amazing spell bowl team on this achievement.