The Park Record Spelling Bee winner to attend Scripps national competition |

The Park Record Spelling Bee winner to attend Scripps national competition

Henry Iverson, a sixth-grader at Rocky Mountain Middle School in Heber City, won the Park Record Spelling Bee in March. He will now compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., next week.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record | The Park Record

In March, Henry Iverson bested 41 students at the Park Record Spelling Bee. Now, he is going up against more than 500 of the top students in the country.

Iverson, a sixth-grade student from Rocky Mountain Middle School in Heber City, will compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., next week. He said that he is both nervous and excited for the competition.

To ease his nerves, he said he turns to his list of over 600 words to study. The list has entirely different words from the ones he was asked to spell during the regional bee in March. Many of the words are new to Iverson.

He typically spends about 45 minutes to an hour studying each day with his parents. Sometimes, he will try to use the new words in his vocabulary, such as omnilegent, which means reading or having read everything. When he does, he said few people know what he is saying.

After the second round of the national bee, the words will no longer be pulled from the list of 600, and can be anything out of the unabridged Merriam Webster’s Dictionary. So, Iverson must also take time studying a book called “Merriam-Webster’s Vocabulary Builder.”

His mother, Jenny Iverson, said that it has been fun to see him put so much effort into preparing and to cheer him on along the way.

“We love studying together,” she said. “Sometimes, my husband and I will race to see who can get things done at night to be able to spell with him.”

The first round of the competition will start Tuesday, May 29, and go through the week, ending in an awards ceremony on Friday, June 1, Jenny Iverson said. Only 50 students advance to the final round.

Henry Iverson said that he has not set any goals of where he would like to finish.

“I’m just trying to do as well as I can,” he said.

He said that he is happy to have made it this far. He has learned some things along the way, such as that the English language is one of the most difficult languages to spell because there are multiple ways to spell the same sound. But he also learned also a large amount of new words that he can use.

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