November 26, 2014

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Avon teen competing in national bee

Jake Fumic heads to Washington for Scripps spelling competition

Bette Pearce
The Chronicle-Telegram
AVON — Mike and Debbie Fumic can’t restrain their pride and excitement over what their 13-year-old son, Jake, has accomplished.
Jake will join 285 other youngsters from across the nation this week as Lorain County’s representative in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
“Just getting there is a pretty incredible accomplishment,” Mike Fumic said. “When you think that 10 million kids started out, and it’s down to only 286, that’s really something to be proud of.”
Jake, however, seems to be taking it all in stride, and said he’s going to miss playing his trombone in his school’s band this weekend.
“I think I’ll do OK,” said Jake, who added that he doesn’t like studying English. Besides playing trombone, he enjoys video games and is eagerly awaiting the release of the next Harry Potter book.
“Jake likes to read a lot, too. I think that gives him an edge,” Mike Fumic said.
“We have two very smart kids,” Debbie Fumic said. “I am so proud of them.”
Mike, Debbie, Jake and Jake’s 11-year-old sister, Grace, will pile in the family car this weekend and head for Washington for a week of sightseeing and special events that have been planned for the spellers and their families.
Debbie Fumic says she’s the only member of the family who’s been to Washington, so the trip will be an even bigger treat.
An eighth-grader at Avon Middle School, Jake won the Lorain County regional bee in March, qualifying him for the national spelling competition Wednesday and Thursday.
The regional bee and family’s trip to Washington are sponsored by the Chronicle-Telegram.
To prepare for the competition, Jake has been studying a list of more than 15,000 words. At his elbow on the kitchen table where he studies is a brand new $150 dictionary, a gift from his father.
To get a better idea of what Jake will face in the competition, the family gathered around the TV for two nights to watch replays of the 2005 and 2006 national bees.
“No matter how far he goes in this thing, we’re proud of him,” Mike Fumic said.
Contact Bette Pearce at 329-7148 or bpearce@chroniclet.com.

BEE BROADCASTS
The Scripps National Spelling Bee semi-finals will be presented by LeapFrog from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday on ESPN. The championship finals will be broadcast live from 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday on ABC.

BEE FUN FACTS
This year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee has 286 competitors — the largest number of spellers in the history of the event.
There are 139 boys, or 49 percent, and 147 girls, or 51 percent, participating.
Ages of competitors are: 11 10-year-olds, 28 11-year-olds, 66 12-year-olds, 105 13-year-olds, 75 14-year-olds and one 15-year-old.
Source: The Scripps National Spelling Bee