Kane County Student Competes in National Spelling Bee
By giving the correct definition of mesa, which is a mountain featuring a level top, Minh Nguyen, an eighth-grade student from St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School in Hampshire, secured his spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee as the representative from Kane County.
Minh Nguyen and his family, sponsored by the Kane Excellence in Education Partnership and the Dunham Fund, traveled to Washington, D.C., from May 28 to June 4, where Minh competed against 290 students from around the United States for the crown of the 90th National Spelling Bee Champion.
Minh competed with the best of the best in the preliminary rounds, which consisted of a written test and a verbal test. He spelled both of his words —“vellum” and “annuity” — successfully. As one of the 188 spellers who made it through the verbal test, the Spelling Bee narrowed down the competition for the finals by comparing each competitor’s score on the written test.
Minh did not score enough on the written test to move on to the finals, but the experience of competing in Washington will be something he and his family will remember for a lifetime.
Thao Nguyen, Minh’s mother, said that her son prepared for the spelling bee by studying every day, on top of his daily homework and additional community services.
“Minh was sad that he did not make it to the final rounds, but I believed he tried his best,” she said. “Thanks again (to the Kane County ROE) for helping Minh participate and enjoy this lifetime experience.”
Minh Nguyen Profile
- Speller No. 18
- Gilberts, Illinois
- Sponsor: Kane County Regional Office of Education
- School, St. Charles Borromeo School
- Age, 13, 8th Grade
Minh has studied and practiced for the Scripps National Spelling Bee since his older sister, Tam Thanh, participated in 2011. Aside from ordinary pastimes such as video games and sports, Minh is particularly interested in airplanes and vehicles. In his spare time, he reads with a vigorous appetite, his favorite genres being adventure and science fiction. In the future, Minh wants to join the Air Force and become an airline captain afterward.
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About the Kane County Regional Office of Education
Led by Regional Superintendent of Schools Patricia Dal Santo, the Kane County ROE is located in Geneva and serves nine school districts. From teacher licensure assistance to professional development, the ROE’s mission is to advocate for education, provide leadership and perform regulatory functions. Learn more about the ROE’s offerings on Facebook, Twitter and by signing up for the semimonthly newsletter.