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3 Rivers student spells 'success' at spelling bee

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Tegan Thwaites will represent her school, Three Rivers Charter, and the West Linn-Wilsonville School District at the Portland Tribune/Comcast Regional Spelling Bee in May.A student from the West Linn-Wilsonville School District will participate in the 11th annual Portland Tribune/Comcast Regional Spelling Bee.

Tegan Thwaites, an eighth-grader at Three Rivers Charter School, will compete March 15 at the Hollywood Theater for a chance to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., this May. She earned the right to compete at the next level by winning first in her class competition and then against nine other classroom winners at Three Rivers Feb. 21.

She emerged the victor after spelling “ostracism” correctly.

“I have no idea what it means,” she said. “I had been looking at the word on the word list at lunch, and I had specially noted that word. The way you spell that particular word is just three letters before a word I already know.”

She plans to rely on the word lists provided to competitors as she prepares for the next competition.

“We get a word list, a big word list, for each grade,” she said. “Plus, tips on how to spell words from different languages. I’m planning on going over those.”

During the competition, she will remember the advice she has been given so far, including to ask for the language of origin for words she’s not certain about.

“At the state (competition), they give you words from a huge plethora of languages,” she said.

No matter how she fares in the regional competition, Tegan is just happy to have made it this far, she said.

“I’m just really glad I have this opportunity to be able to make it up there, to have that experience. I think that’s really great,” she said. “Even though I’m pretty sure I’m not going to win it, I’m going to try.”


By Kate Hoots
Education reporter
503-636-1281, ext. 112
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