Spelling champ


Originally scheduled for Jan. 24, the Fluvanna contest had to be postponed because of weather. The weather on Wednesday threatened to cancel the bee again when wind knocked out the power in the high school.

Only emergency lights were on in the auditorium, so at the last minute, Scott Marshall, of the Fluvanna Education Foundation decided to move the contest into the well-lit cafeteria.

Tenaska sponsored the competition along with the Fluvanna Education Foundation.

Board of Supervisor Chairman Shaun Kenney served as pronouncer, Clint Estes, middle school assistant principal and Bri Van Tassel, of FEF, were judges. A third judge, Kayla Corredera-Wells, was highly qualified as she was the winner of the Regional Bee last year and competed in the National Bee in Washington D.C. Corredera-Wells is now a freshman at the high school.

In the end, Chiovaro won by spelling manuscript correctly. He beat his friend, Alex Williams, who is the first runner-up.

Kenney talked with Chiovaro after the bee.

“So, how did I do?” he asked.

“Good. You told me everything I asked,” Chiovaro said.

The fifth grader said he changed his strategy from last year when he thought the pronouncer said one word when he really said another.

“I decided to always ask the pronouncer to repeat the word,” Chiovaro said. “And if I still am not sure, I ask for a definition or for the word to be used in a sentence.”

Cathy Chiovaro said she laughed when her son got the word succumb.

“He kept spelling it wrong at home until I told him a way to remember it,” she said.

Chiovaro said his mother’s suggestion was to think “succumb is dumb.”

“And it worked,” he said.

Chiovaro went to regionals last year as the elementary school winner along with Corredera-Wells. That’s when she gave him a bit of advice.

“She told me she tried several times before she made it to nationals,” Chiovaro said.



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