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SW speller comes in second

Robyn Pritzker, 13, of Robert Gray Middle School in Hillsdale, placed second in the fourth annual Portland Tribune/Comcast Regional Spelling Bee on March 17.

Shelley Clark, a home-schooled 13-year-old from Tigard, won the top prize for the second year in a row.

Pritzker went out on 'ignominious.'

Clark spelled that correctly and went on to nail 'plumicorn' for the regional title.

Clark was determined to win the bee again so she could have another shot at the National Spelling Bee, scheduled this year for May 30 and 31 in Washington, D.C.

Last year, Clark was eliminated in the third round of the national bee. 'She started studying that evening' said her mother, Rosalyn Newhouse. 'She's been completely focused, spending an average two to three hours a day since then' on word lists, spelling notebooks and the like.

About 45 students from Multnomah and Washington county public, private, alternative and home schools vied for the regional title, according to host Jill Weisensee, advertising director for the Portland Tribune.

Judges for the regional bee this year were Pam Grignon, who coordinates the Portland School District's talented and gifted program in the middle schools; Julie Winder, a Forest Park Elementary teacher; Theressa Davis from Comcast and Jesse Beason, senior policy director for city Commissioner Sam Adams. Oregon Public Broadcasting radio host April Baer pronounced the words for the spellers for a second year.

Comcast, one of the sponsors of the regional event, plans to broadcast the regional bee on Comcast Channel 14 at 8 p.m. April 9; 7:30 p.m. April 21 and 11 a.m. April 22. The event will be available on Comcast's On Demand service starting April 23.