• Last modified 421 days ago (March 30, 2023)


Seventh-grader second in state spelling bee

Staff writer

The first time Alexandra Carlson competed in the Sunflower State Spelling Bee, she got out on the first round.

She was in third grade then.

Now she’s a Marion seventh grader and took second place Saturday at the state contest. at Newman University, where 94 students competed.

“I didn’t think I would make it that far,” she said Tuesday.

Alexandra and Kayleigh Pacelli took first and second place respectively at a countywide spelling bee for elementary and middle school students Feb. 15. Alexandra won that contest by spelling the word “subsidence” correctly.

She doesn’t remember all the words she spelled at the state spelling bee — there were 13 rounds, after all — but she recalled “calibrate,” “subluxation,” and “malefactor.” The word she lost first place to was “fardel.”

She also answered two vocabulary rounds correctly. During those rounds, an announcer provided a word and then asked a question about it. One of the words was “fealty.”

The spelling bee started at 9 a.m. with a practice round and ended about 2:30 p.m. It was a long day, but Alexandra and her parents — Lucas and Julie Carlson — and four sisters celebrated afterward at Texas Roadhouse in Wichita.

Alexandra practiced for the spelling bee at night and at school.

“I mostly just practiced by myself or with my parents,” she said.

She admitted she felt nervous at the state bee, “but I guess it didn’t really show,” she said.

Although she’s a champion speller with a medal to prove it, Alexandra says math is her favorite subject .

Middle school principal Kelsey Metro called Alexandra a “hard worker and kind young lady.”

When her win is announced at school, Metro expects lots of congratulations.

“The kids are really supportive of each other,” she said. “I think the kids are going to be super excited.”

Last modified March 30, 2023