Spelling bee champ off to Washington

Andrew
Andrew Robinson
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Holy Trinity Elementary student excited about Scripps event

Emily Hynes cannot wait to see how she fares as one of the 281 youth taking part in a prestigious spelling competition next week in Washington, D.C.

The Grade 5 student from Holy Trinity Elementary in Torbay won the The Telegram Spelling Bee earlier this year. With that win, she earned the right to represent Newfoundland and Labrador in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

“I didn’t expect that I was going to win,” said the modest 10-year-old, whose win this year was all the more remarkable given many of her competitors were Grade 8 students. “It was really weird.”

Having never set foot in America’s capital city before, Emily will fly to Washington Friday with parents Richard and Lisa Hynes.

“It’s a great opportunity and a great achievement,” said Lisa Hynes of her daughter’s accomplishment thus far.

The competition starts next Tuesday with a preliminary round that involves a computer test and two rounds of oral spelling on Wednesday. The semi-final round gets underway Wednesday evening with another computer test and two more rounds of oral spelling the next day. The championship finals also take place Thursday.

Schoolmates wished Emily good luck Wednesday during a special ceremony at Holy Trinity Elementary.

Representatives from The Telegram were also on hand to present her a school trophy and commemorative plaque.

With no specific list of words to study, Emily has flipped through a dictionary in preparation for the event. Some words are new to her. Psychedelic — a word most commonly associated with an era that preceeds Emily’s birth by several decades — is one she was otherwise unfamiliar with prior to preparing for Scripps.

Lisa Hynes says her daughter could read before she started attending school and has always been a great speller. Her mother admits the tactic of spelling out certain words in conversation with others does not always serve its purpose of keeping Emily in the dark.

“You couldn’t spell secret things when she was small, because she could always figure it out,” Lisa Hynes said with a laugh.

Emily enjoys reading and likes to flip through National Geographic books when she’s not at school.

There are Scripps-related activities to take part in outside of the bee, including a special barbecue in a park on Monday’s Memorial Day. Emily also hopes to visit some of the museums and galleries that are part of the Smithsonian Institution.

Emily is one of only two Canadians in the competition in which eight countries are represented.

 

arobinson@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: Scripps, Grade 5, National Geographic Smithsonian Institution.Emily

Geographic location: Washington, Holy Trinity, Torbay Newfoundland and Labrador America

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  • Shelley O'Brien
    May 22, 2014 - 09:24

    Way to go, Emily! Hope you win!