Weybridge girl wins state spelling bee

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(Host) The best spellers from Vermont’s 4th through 8th grades gathered on stage at Saint Michael’s College yesterday afternoon for the state spelling bee.

After two hours of spelling, and several rounds of head-to-head competition between two finalists, here’s the word that crowned the winner:

(Pronouncer) “Here you go, Lucy. The word is ‘filiality.'”
(Lucy Weber) “Filiality. Can I have the definition please?”
(Pronouncer) “The relation or attitude of a child to a parent.”
(Weber) “Filiality. F-I-L-I-A-L-I-T-Y. Filiality.”
(Pronouncer) “You did it, girl.” (Crowd applauds.)

(Host) That’s thirteen-year old Lucy Weber of Weybridge, who’s now won the state spelling bee two years in a row. She says her success is due to her mom’s coaching and a decision to focus on words from foreign languages.

(Lucy Weber) “I’ve learned, like, 4,000 new since I started. Because, almost every word on the two 250 word lists was totally out there, so that’s 500 right there. And then Paideia is 3,800. So, way more words – that I’m probably never going to use, but that’s ok.” (Laughs.)

(Host) Paideia is a compendium of study words provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee, in which Weber will compete later this spring in Washington, D.C.

Weber’s tough competition at the end of the state spelling bee came from second-place winner Walker Storz, a seventh grader at Lyndon Town School. The word that did him in was “simpatico.”

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