Berry College Middle School eighth-grader Anna Davidson will compete in the state spelling bee next week for a chance to earn a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
“I’m glad that I’ve come this far and gotten better every year,” said Davidson, who is in her fourth year of spelling bees.
The Georgia Association of Educators State Spelling Bee will be held March 16 at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains. The former president will be a guest speaker.
“I’m not sure what to expect,” she said. “I feel like I’ll do well but I’m not sure about winning the entire thing.”
During an assembly Friday to recognize Davidson, teacher Julianne Bailey, who taught her in fourth grade and seventh grade, asked how one can be a great speller.
“If you read a lot, you will read a lot of words and be able to relate them to other words,” she said. “When I read, words stick in my mind.”
Fellow students were encouraged by Bailey to ask Davidson to spell the hardest words they know when seeing her at school, to prepare her for the state competition. Davidson said some of the older students presented her with words she had never heard before.
“I’m so pleased that she has done this well, but not at all surprised,” Bailey said of Davidson, who particularly loves the “Harry Potter” series. “She absorbs new knowledge like a sponge.”
Davidson’s road to a state spelling bee bid saw her be a top scorer through all three rounds of the Georgia Independent School Association Middle School Unit Spelling Bee, including winning the final round.
In Round 1 — the area bee which includes 38 private schools — she competed at Cottage School in Atlanta Feb. 8, placing in the top 12. She then moved on to Round 2 — the district bee which includes 95 schools — held at the Atlanta Academy in Roswell Feb. 27, placing in the top 20. For both these rounds, she had to complete a written spelling and vocabulary test.
On the same day as Round 2, Davidson competed in Round 3 against the other students who made the top 20. Though this time around, students had to spell words aloud and select from multiple choice options for vocabulary. She emerged as the clear-cut winner.
If Davidson keeps up her winning ways, she will travel to Washington, D.C., for the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee.