Terin Trachtenberg, a freshman at Taft 7-12 High School, probably has little need for the spell-check function on a computer. On Sept. 1, he proved to be a prodigious speller, taking third place in the 2012 Oregon Statewide Spelling Championship, held during the Oregon State Fair in Salem.
Trachtenberg was presented with 25 very challenging words, missing only two to take the third place award in his grade division. For his spelling excellence, he received a $50 U.S. Savings Bond and a framed certificated of recognition. So, what were the two words that tripped him up at the state finals? Febrile and kaleidoscope.
The division winner was an eighth-grader from La Grande, with a perfect score; and the second place finisher, with one misspelled word, was a Beaverton ninth-grader.
Another Lincoln City student, fifth-grader Ethan Price of Oceanlake Elementary School, had also earned the right to advance to the state level to compete in his grade division. Although he did not place in the top three, he performed extremely well and likely will return for future spelling competitions.
Unlike a spelling bee, the Oregon Statewide Spelling Championship and all contests leading up to it are written spelling contests. Students listen to the words being pronounced and used in a sentence before writing down the answer. This year’s competition featured 50 young spellers representing 23 Oregon counties.
The mission of Oregon Spellers is to encourage, promote, and recognize spelling excellence for Oregon youth. Oregon Spellers holds its annual state-level spelling championship in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Associated for Talented and Gifted, and individual supporters and contributors.