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South Burlington eighth-grader wins Vt. spelling bee - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

South Burlington eighth-grader wins Vt. spelling bee

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COLCHESTER, Vt. -

A battle of words in Colchester Wednesday, where more than 40 students took part in the state spelling bee. The children competed for a shot at representing Vermont at the national spelling bee in June.

Each of the students, some as young as third-graders and others up to eighth grade, had already competed once this winter to make it to the stage at St. Michael's College.

With fun words like fiesta to tongue-twisters like quesadilla, students told us it took some serious studying to prepare.

"It's definitely easier for me to write it on paper, but definitely trying to think the word through, knowing the language of origin, it gives you a couple of hints on how to spell the word," said Kaci Cochran, a seventh-grader at the Riverside School.

"Usually either my mom or dad will say the word to me, and I'd spell it out, and if I got it wrong they'd put a mark next to it. And when we were down the list we would just go back to it until I got it right," said Zach Fucci, a seventh-grader at Waterford Elementary School.

In addition to that trip to Washington, D.C., to compete against the best in the nation, the winner also gets a trophy, books and gift certificates. All the students who made it to Wednesday's competition got medals.

After 25 rounds, Liam Lustberg from Frederick Tuttle Middle School won with the word "pogrom," clinching the state title. The eighth-grader told us the secret to spelling those tricky foreign words.

"Learn the rules for the specific language. Like with Japanese, an E sound is normally an I for starters, and you can apply that when you ask for the language of origin," Lustberg said.

Lustberg says he's looking forward to representing Vermont at the national Scripps spelling bee in June. And while he's there he says he wants to see the Air & Space Museum.

The Rutland Herald and Times-Argus sponsored the spelling bee.

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