Park Record Bee winner finishes in top 200 of Scripps National Spelling Bee
At the front of the spelling bee stage, Henry Iverson stood and waited to hear his word.
“Terzetto,” the announcer said.
Iverson froze, terrified that he might spell it wrong. He tried to sound it out in his head as he asked about the language of origin and alternative pronunciations. Finally, he decided to give it a shot and spell it.
“That is correct,” the announcer said.
Iverson, a sixth-grade student from Rocky Mountain Middle School in Heber City, recently attended the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Though he did not make it into the final round of 50 students, he was proud that he spelled his two words, “terzetto” and “viscosity,” correctly during the first few rounds. Iverson did not continue into the final round because he spelled 23 out of 36 words correctly on a written exam that was used to select the finalists. He needed a score of 28 in order to continue.
Iverson was one of 515 students from around the country who attended the national bee. He qualified during the Park Record Spelling Bee in March.
He said that it was fun to be at a nationally televised event and be surrounded by kids who were skilled at spelling.
“It was pretty exciting that I was among that group,” he said.
But it was also a little nerve-wracking. Iverson said that one of the biggest challenges during the event was the pressure, because everyone was watching him when he stepped to the stage.
He felt satisfied with his placement. He spelled his two words correctly on stage and ranked in the top 200 with his score on the written exam, said Ben Iverson, Henry Iverson’s father, who accompanied him on the trip.
Ben Iverson said that he was proud of his son, especially when his son spelled “terzetto” correctly.
“I was super happy with how well he did,” he said. “They gave us a list of 600 words, and Henry worked really hard on those words.”
Henry Iverson said that he hopes to be able to return next year if he can qualify again. He plans to continue to study the book “Merriam-Webster’s Vocabulary Builder,” which he used to prepare for the national bee.
“I feel like, if I study harder, I might be able to get into the final 50 people,” he said.
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The Park City Board of Education is on track to place a bond on the ballot this fall to improve district facilities. The top priorities would be to put ninth grade in the high school, eighth grade in the middle school and to augment preschool offerings by expanding elementary schools.