Can you spell "eleemosynary" or "apparatchik?" Most adults would have a difficult time defining them let alone spelling them. Yet Claudia Lasiowski, a seventh grader at Chequamegon Middle School and the daughter of Frank and April Lasiowski, can take on words of that size and odd spelling. She admitted those were two of the most difficult words she had to spell while participating in various spelling bees the last three years.
Claudia won her school spelling bee in fifth, sixth, and seventh grade and advanced to CESA #12 regional competition each time. As a fifth grader, she won regionals; placed 5th in sixth grade; and won again this year as a seventh grader. She has been to state once as a fifth grader, making it about halfway through the competition, stumbling over the word "maladroit." She will advance again this year, taking on the competition on March 24th at 1 p.m. at the Mitby Theatre at the Madison Area Technical College (MATC).
Claudia said that, during her first time at the state spelling bee, she was impressed with how many audience members were in attendance. "There were a lot of people and it is in a big auditorium and it is pretty intimidating." She feels it will be less scary this year given she has that first state spelling bee under her belt from fifth grade. "Spellings bees are very much 'luck of the draw,'" she added. "You may study hundreds and hundreds of words, but in the actual bee you may only spell twenty words. You may happen to get a really easy word or a really hard word. Any word in the dictionary is fair game for the end rounds of a spelling bee so there is no way to know all the words that you might be asked."
Claudia mentioned there are a lot of exceptional spellers at the state level. "Some of these spellers have tutors that help them study for the bee and they work on it all year long. Some of these top spellers have been to the state bee for years in hopes of getting to Scripps. They treat spelling like a sport and devote many hours to it."
Speaking of sports and other interests, Claudia has a full plate while she studies her words. "During this spelling bee season, I have been very busy. I have been involved in things such as piano, band, forensics, choir, church, volleyball, student council, and running on the side. It has been a lot of work trying to find time for words and studying for the bee, but I think it is a great experience. It has taught me a lot about dedication and hard work." Claudia said that her dad, grandma, and grandpa all support her, but her mom is the one who mainly helps her practice spelling various words.
Claudia became inspired to excel in the spelling bee in fifth grade when she heard a former student at Chequamegon had made it to the state bee as a fifth grader, so she set that goal for herself. "My first year, I didnít even think I was going to get past my school spelling bee, let alone make it to state!"
While spelling is clearly of interest to Claudia right now, she's not exactly sure what she wants to be when she gets older as she is interested in many things and has, understandably, not narrowed it down yet. "I am leaning towards something along the lines of art or maybe even biology," Claudia shared.
The spelling bee competition will be live-streamed on-line on Saturday, March 24th for those interested in following the rest of Claudia's spelling bee journey. We wish her the best of luck.
CLAUDIA FINISHES 16TH AT STATE! -- UPDATED 3/24/2018
Claudia made it to Round 11 and received 16th place. Great job, Claudia!
Photo Credit: Breanna Hanson
[Edited by My Price County Administrator on Mar 28, 2018 at 06:16 PM]