Each year I am uplifted by seeing the faces of the top spellers in Madison who compete locally so one can later attend the Badger State Spelling Bee. This weekend 27 school students proved what skills and will power can achieve. Each of the students is a winner, and I can say that honestly as I rely heavily on my spell-check. To know that a student who was under pressure and being watched could correctly spell “Beethovenian,” an adjective relating to or characteristic of the famous composer, or “himation,” a type of ancient Greek clothing alerts me to their brightness.
This year the winner was 7th grader Maya Jadhav, who also had top honors last year in the spelling bee. The Eagle School student surely has proud family members, and also teachers who are a large part of the reason our city has youth like the ones who competed this weekend.
Last year I wrote about Vincent Bautista who participated in the 2020 competition.
I especially want to call out attention to the second-place finisher, Vincent Bautista. I do not know him but just feel most compelled to offer congratulations for a second-place finish. At 9 years of age, he gives encouragement to all about what can be accomplished. I am suspecting next year we’re going to hear a lot more from him.
I was very pleased to see him as one of the eager faces this weekend when spelling. And this blog post would not be complete if not mentioning Aiden Wijeyakulasuriya from Blessed Sacrament School. He first landed on CP in 2019 when competing in the bee. As I wrote at the time, while I wished the very best for each and every participant there was just something so perfect about his gleeful expression and winning smile–as seen in that year’s photo.
I was really pleased that he was back striving for the win and know he will be among the other students trying to head to state in 2022. The reason these young people are so successful is due to the lessons one of the participants spoke about from last year.
Matthew Brock, then 14 and an eighth-grader at Toki Middle School said, “I read a lot and I practiced the study list. Every time I see a word I don’t know, I look up the definition and try to understand whatever the context may be.”
With that, we also need to send out a thank you to the parents who instill a love of reading in their children along with the desire to learn. Congratulations to all of the 27 students who made our city proud!