Cassandra Clowe-Coish of St. John’s is competes at the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
— Scripps National Spelling Bee photo
“Anachronism.” When 12-year-old Cassandra Clowe-Coish of St. John’s was asked to spell that word on a stage in front of hundreds in Washington, D.C., Wednesday afternoon, she was not fazed.
“I knew the word and how to spell it, so I wasn’t nervous,” said the Grade 7 student from Holy Cross Junior High. “I wasn’t questioning myself.”
By correctly spelling that word, Cassandra moved on to Round 3 of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee, where she successfully spelled “delectus.”
There were 281 competitors at the start of the day and 239 remaining after Round 3. In the end, Cassandra was not one of the 41 youth who qualified for the semi-final round on Thursday.
In addition to spelling words correctly in rounds two and three, semi-final qualifying takes into account scores on the computer exam. Cassandra, who was speller No. 25 for the event, scored a 20 out of 30 on the preliminary test and received six points for spelling her two words correctly onstage.
“It’s a little disappointing that I didn’t make it, but I’m going to do it next year, too,” said the optimistic seventh grader.
Cassandra qualified for Scripps by winning The Telegram's 2013 Spelling Bee in March. She earned a $3,000 cash prize and the right to represent the province at the annual event in Washington.
“It’s nice here,” said Cassandra, who had not left the island prior to last week. “People are nice, and also it’s warm most of the time, too.”
She plans to go back to the event on Thursday to see how everything unfolds. Outside of the bee, she has been having fun on sightseeing trips, eating nice food, and shopping in the city. Cassandra will also get to stay in Washington for the weekend before flying back to St. John’s.
Cassandra’s mother, Eunice Coish, said the experience of watching her daughter spell her words on the big stage at Scripps was intense.
“To me, I think she did wonderful,” said the proud mother.