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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Reflections on the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee Winning Moment

I just finished watching the finals of the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Before I announce the winner and the winning word I'd like to talk about my involvement in the bee.   

I spent the first semester of the 2022 2023 school year as a long term substitute teacher in a 6th and 7th grade autism classroom.  My group of students studied the same curriculum as the rest of the students in our school.  All my 6th graders and 7th graders  participated in a classroom spelling bee, which is the first step in the Scripps spelling bee program. 

I drilled my students for several weeks held a few practice bees and even had a scrimmage with another classroom.  It was exciting to see all my students grow in their spelling during this process.  At the end of the semester they found someone to take over the class and I moved on to my current position as a building sub in a k-5 building.  When the 2nd semester began my 6th grade winner and my 7th grade winner participated in spelling bees for their grade.  Unfortunately both of my former students got out on their first word.

Tonight I was turning off the television when I saw that the Scripps final bee was about to air live.  This brought up memories of my former class.  As a substitute teacher I may never get another opportunity to conduct a bee, but it was one of the high points of my educational career.  

The finals were amazing.  The students were polished, poised and prepared.  I especially liked the parts where the judge would affirm the incorrect speller on the amazing run they had just finished.

Dev Shah of Largo, Florida win the competition.  Here is how it happened.  


The winning word was psammophile.

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