Homeschooler Wins LoCo Spelling Bee, Again
For the second year in a row, 13-year-old Santos DeBarros, a homeschooler from Waterford, won the 27th Annual Loudoun County Regional Spelling Bee.
DeBarros claimed his title after correctly spelling the word “camionette,” a French derivative which means “a small truck or bus.”
The competition lasted two and a half hours and covered 217 words including “lederhosen,” “malaxage” and “ignominious.”
By the third round of the regional bee, 102 competitors — consisting of fifth- through eighth-grade students — had been whittled down to just eight. They were: DeBarros, Meena Nayagam of Seneca Ridge Middle School, Jenifer Bardi of Meadowland Elementary, Kara Newman of Seneca Ridge Middle School, Erin Brandt of Farmwell Stations Middle School, Barbara Regan of Blue Ridge Middle School, Paul Clement Jr. of Mill Run Elementary and Catherine Lasky of Lowes Island Elementary.
As the Loudoun spelling bee champ, DeBarros is now eligible to compete in the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee May 26 to 28 in Washington, D.C.
As a second-year contestant at the national bee, I asked DeBarros what he’ll be doing differently this time around to prepare for the competition.
“I’ll be studying much harder than last year,” he said. “The level of the words at the national bee is much more difficult.”
Kristin Hawkins of Sterling has come closest to winning the national spelling title for Loudoun. Hawkins was runner-up in the 2001 National Spelling Bee.
Good luck, Santos!