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East Tipp speller prepares for national bee
Sue Scott

When Joey Finnerty heard the announcer give him the word “archetype” in the regional spelling bee, the East Tipp Middle School seventh grader was confident he knew how to spell the word and was headed to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

“Joey came into the school competition very well prepared, and I have seen his drive and confidence grow since then,” says teacher Jenny Prosser, who coordinates the East Tipp’s spelling bee. “He has taken a very active role in practicing and preparing for the national bee, and I have no doubt he will do a phenomenal job.”

Joey says he studies 100 spelling words and 100 vocabulary words every day after school. “Preparing for the national spelling bee is overwhelming,” Joey says. “In addition to the 4,000 word list that Scripps provides, I need to be prepared to spell any word in the entire dictionary.”

Joey discovered his talent for spelling in fourth grade when he was chosen to compete in a spelling bee against older students. “Although I didn’t win the spelling bee, I came in second place, losing to a sixth grader,” says Joey. “That experience made me realize that I have a talent for spelling and I enjoy the competition.”

Joey is the first student from East Tipp to compete in the national spelling bee and is proud to represent his school and community: “I feel very lucky to have such good teachers at East Tipp who have helped motivate me to try my hardest to become the best that I can be. I am also thankful for my parents who have helped me study for the bee.”

The national spelling bee is held in Washington, D.C. June 2.