Tuesday, kids from across Vermont filled the arts center at St. Michael's College in Colchester to put their spelling skills to the test.
"I like that there are so many different ways that you could try to spell a word," said Corynn Wasyliko of Londonderry.
And on this stage the emotions were high.
"I'm nervously excited," said Colin Dowd, a sixth-grader from Middlebury.
These elementary and middle schoolers made it through regional bees before turning their attention to prepping for the 2013 Vermont State Spelling Bee.
"A few weeks. I was kind of surprised when I won my school spelling bee, so I did not have a lot of time to prepare for this one," Wasyliko said.
Each of the more than 40 contestants had their own strategy for getting ready and many of them did not involve studying the dictionary page by page.
Dowd says the preparations have been fun.
"I like how it is easy to study for and it is not as confusing as maybe some other subjects," Dowd said.
And come test time, parents and teachers were sharing some advice of their own.
"First of all, just relax. It's a very nerve-wracking process. Ask a lot of questions when he is up on stage, alternate pronunciations, that sort of thing," said Tyler Willis of Brighton Elementary School.
And even those who didn't shake all the nerves were ready to do their best.
"I have been here before but it is a little anxiety, but I am prepared so I know I can do well," Down said.
The competition ended when Ronan Howlett spelled his way to his second win in a row. The Middlebury Union Middle School student won on the word DESULTORY.
2nd Place Winner: Emily Ballou; S. Royalton School
3rd Place Winner: Nick Knudsen; Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School
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