Sylvie Lamontagne, 7th grader at Creighton Middle School, also a Colorado Kids reporter, won the state spelling bee on Saturday, March 14. Her winning word was S-Y-M-P-A-T-R-I-C.
Sylvie Lamontagne, 7th grader at Creighton Middle School, also a Colorado Kids reporter, won the state spelling bee on Saturday, March 14. Her winning word was S-Y-M-P-A-T-R-I-C. A study method for Lamontagne was learning the patterns of how words would be spelled in different languages. She was coached by a previous bee winner, who showed her the relationships between words in English to Spanish, Spanish to French, etc.
This isn’t the first time she made it to the state competition; she placed 26th overall in 2013 and 8th overall last year. The speller was surprised that she placed highly either year; she did not study at all when she was in 5th grade, and did study a little bit last year, but not much. This year, though, was different. She studied a lot more, and tried new techniques with the help of her brother, who made it to the final round of the oral bee for the past two years. She felt that she would place highly in the ranks this year, but again, did not expect to move on because she thought that other competitors had better odds of winning than she would.
Overall, Lamontagne felt that the day possessed a different atmosphere from previous years. It took place at a different venue last year, and it seemed more calm this year at University of Denver. She felt pretty confident at the beginning of the day, but as the clock ticked closer to the start of the bee, she grew more and more nervous and couldn’t eat lunch. There were approximately 280 students who took the written exam in the morning; only 35 participated in the oral round. Lamontagne felt that during the oral round, she was a bit too nervous because of how much she was tapping her foot. Next steps for Sylvie include traveling to Maryland for nationals at the end of May. We all wish her S-U-C-C-E-S-S!