Cache_Competitive spelling has been broadcast on ESPN for years, and in 2006, 14.1 Million people tuned in for the championship rounds on ABC. Cache Middle School student Adam Van Buren, who won the state spelling bee in Norman on Saturday, and will go on to compete in the national spelling bee this May. He was honored by his school during an assembly on Friday.
The national spelling be is held in Washington, D.C., and is open to students in the grades 5-8. Adam is in the eighth grade, and is making the most of his final year of competition. He has been in spelling bees before, but this year was his first win at the school bee. He has been stumped by words in the past, but says things are different this year. "I found other contestants' words to be challenging, but I didn't get them, so, I was lucky," he said.
After winning the school contest, he competed in a regional bee and, once again, came home a winner. "It's quite a mark on the map for us at Cache," says Cache Middle School Principal Denise Hoffman. "We are soaring with new and exciting things every day, and this was icing on the cake."
Adam won the state competition in Norman by correctly spelling "ambrosial," which means exceptionally delicious, or fragrant. Can he still spell it? You bet - "A-M-B-R-O-S-I-A-L." He practices over an hour per day with his mom helping by calling out words. But, Adam's parents give him all the credit. "He's really self-motivated and he's a competitor," says his father Terry. "He does most of it on his own."
Adam has a lot more studying to do to prepare for "D.C." "I went online last night to find the consolidated word list. There are about 700 to memorize, so I'll be busy for the next few months," he says.
His teachers want to honor him for years to come, so they're putting a plaque in the library in his honor. "As the years go by, people might not know who Adam was," says Hoffman. "They'll be able to recognize that he had a great achievement here while he was a student. I'm just so proud of him and he's just so focused, and I'm sure that he'll be able to do anything he wants to in life." For now, Adam just wants to spell