May 26, 2016


Spelling bee champ arrives in Washington

Kaitlin Hall arrived in the nation’s capital Sunday afternoon and immediately went into spelling bee mode.
The seventh-grader at Avon Middle School is a contestant in the 86th National Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
She checked into her hotel, went through a quick orientation, grabbed her Bee Keeper book and sized up the competition.
But by 9 p.m., she had a binder in her hands and was pouring over words.
“We have found a corner of the convention center that is empty and we are studying right now,” her father, Matt Hall, said.
But before the hard work of competing begins, Matt said Kaitlin and other spellers will be treated to a barbecue dinner tonight at a farm in Maryland. There, the spellers will use the Bee Keeper book to get to know the other contestants. Each book has a small biography written about each competitor with a blank space the spellers are supposed to fill in by asking each other questions.
“There is a lot of fun and getting to know each other going on,” Matt Hall said.
The first day of competition is Tuesday. First up is a computerized spelling and vocabulary test. The scores of that first test are kept secret until later on Wednesday.
Spellers who do well on the computer test and the first rounds of on-stage spelling have a chance to end up in the televised competition that will be shown on ESPN.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or

About Lisa Roberson

Lisa Roberson has been with the Chronicle since 2006, and covers Elyria city government and public education. She can be reached at 329-7121 or Follow her on Twitter.