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Spelling it out

Henry Shutt, Parker Sharman and Madison Bowling will spell with the best


Three students from the Sandy, Boring and Welches communities will be representing their peers at this year’s 12th Annual Portland Tribune Comcast Regional Spelling Bee.

Parker Sharman of Sandy Grade School, Henry Schutt of Oregon Trail Academy and Madison Bowling of Welches Middle School are participating in the regional spelling competition beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 7, at the Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd., in Portland.

Here is a little bit more information about the spelling bee competitors:

Henry Schutt

Henry, a fifth grader at Oregon Trail Academy, loves to read. It is his favorite subject at school he enjoys books that are fantasy and medieval fantasy such as “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings.”Photo Credit: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Henry Shutt

In his spare time, he enjoys being outside, playing with Legos and Minecraft on the computer as well as drawing.

Although he said his friends haven’t really been practicing with him for the Regional Spelling Bee, they come to him when they have spelling questions.

He has a few different lists he practices words from, but he is mostly “trying to get the basics done first.”

Henry lives in Portland and commutes to OTA with his mother, Alison Snyder, a second grade teacher at the school.

Snyder, the one who most often quizzes him, said she and Henry usually practice in the car on the way to and from school, but she tries not to put too much pressure on him.

She said Henry’s first year at OTA was the first time he participated in a spelling bee and it has really helped him with spelling in general.

“It’s carried over to his school work which is pretty nice,” Snyder noted.

Henry doesn’t really have a favorite word to spell, but said he is a little nervous that he may be asked to spell “bazooka,” a word he’s had trouble with.

Parker Sharman

A fifth-grader at Sandy Grade School, Parker enjoys going for hikes in the Columbia River Gorge and playing basketball and soccer.Photo Credit: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Parker Sharman

His favorite subject is math, and he likes reading mystery books.

He won the school-wide spelling bee at Sandy Grade School by spelling the word “noxious.”

He said practice makes him a good speller.

To study for the regional spelling bee, Parker printed off sheets of words from which he practices with “everybody,” including his older sister, every night.

“Some of the high school words are really hard,” he said, noting he’s excited but also a little nervous about the bee.

Madison Bowling

Welches Middle School sixth-grader Madison said her spelling prowess probably comes from her dad, who was in the regional spelling bee as a fourth grader.

To practice for the regional competition, Madison has been reading harder books and spending a lot of time looking up words she doesn’t know in the dictionary.

“I’m a little nervous,” she said, “but I’m excited about it.”

Madison likes to read non-fiction, realistic-fiction and some mystery books. Photo Credit: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Madison Bowling

In her spare time, Madison enjoys volunteering at Sound Equine Options, riding horses and taking part in 4-H activities.

Her family has two dogs, two cats, a tortoise, a few fish and five chickens — but only one of the five chickens is Madison’s. She wants to get a horse.

When she was younger, her favorite word to spell was “encyclopedia,” as she was the only first grader who could spell it.

In the school-wide spelling bee at Welches Middle School, Madison won with the word “jettison.”

She was particularly proud of that, because she got it wrong while practicing with her dad, Mike, and kept going over it until she got it right.

“And it ended up being the one she won on,” he noted.

Madison came in second place at her school spelling bee last year.

“This time, I practiced a lot,” she said. “If I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have won.”

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