Two Bak eighth graders go to regional spelling bee


Reese Gallagher

Fredric Augustyn and Sophie Karbstein win school wide spelling to advance to regionals.

Bak held the annual Scripps Classroom Spelling Bee on Jan. 24 and the schoolwide on Feb. 12.

“Basically the whole school competes at the classroom level.  We had around 60 advance to the school spelling bee. Two students advanced to regionals,” Jennifer Gardner, head of school spelling bee, said.

Students participated in the class spelling bee. The winners moved on to the school wide spelling bee.

“It was challenging but I tried my best,” Frederic Augustyn, eighth grade strings major, school finalist, said.

This year the two school winners were Augustyn, and Sophie Karbstein, eighth grade band major. After that these students moved on to regionals which was held on Feb. 12. Karbstein placed seventh and Augustyn placed in the top 20.

“I was very anxious and nervous, but it [school wide spelling bee] turned out great,” Karbstein said.

The Scripps Spelling Bee has many benefits including kids developing self-confidence, communication and public speaking skills, and the ability to thrive under pressure according to The Academy of Accelerated Learning website. Another benefit was that it promoted literature in kids.

“The students who really get into it, do a lot of word studying, so they learn a lot about the different parts of words: prefixes, suffixes, and especially root words.  They also learn a lot about word origins. It also increases their vocabulary,” Gardner said.

Gardner has been at Bak for six years, five of which she has headed the spelling bee. She also managed the spelling bee at her previous school, Roosevelt Middle School.

Karbstein said, “Regional taught me how to not give up, study, and spell.”