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Lake, Porter spellers advance to next round

Sean Ives Trinity Lutheran School spells correctly fifth round during Lake/Porter County District Spelling Bee Wheeler High School Valparaiso Ind.

Sean Ives of Trinity Lutheran School spells correctly in the fifth round during the Lake/Porter County District Spelling Bee at Wheeler High School in Valparaiso, Ind. Saturday February 16, 2013. Ives went on to win the spelling bee. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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The winners

First place: Sean Ives, 13, seventh grade, Trinity Lutheran School, Crown Point

Second place: Dheven Unni, 12, seventh grade, Forest Ridge Academy, Schererville

Third place: Nicole Libiran, 12, seventh grade, Col. Wheeler Middle School, Crown Point

Also going on to the final spelling bee on March 9 are: Kelechi Echeumuna, Aquinas Catholic Community School, Merrilllville; Ja’Mysha Carter, St. Stanislaus School, East Chicago; Mariah Villaroman, St. Thomas More School, Munster; Camila Flores, St. Michael School, Schererville; Wyatt Lee, Chesterton Middle School; Janiya Bates, Benjamin Franklin Academy, East Chicago; and Anisha Kondamuri, Wilbur Wright Middle School, Munster.

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Updated: March 18, 2013 6:50AM



After several rounds of one-on-one spelling, Sean Ives won the annual Lake/Porter County District Spelling Bee Saturday by correctly spelling the word “lexicology.”

Sean, 13, a seventh grader at Trinity Lutheran School in Crown Point, said he and his mom study together.

“She usually forces me to do it,” he said. “She makes me write the words I miss so I learn them by writing them.”

In all, 21 spellers in third through eighth grades from schools in Lake and Porter counties took part in the traditional spelling bee, held in the Wheeler High School auditorium.

Sean and nine other top spellers return to the auditorium March 9 to face finalists from the LaPorte County schools. The winner of that competition goes on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will be held May 26 to June 1 in Washington, D.C. Kankakee Valley REMC sponsors the local spelling bees, and pays for the winner to head to the national bee.

Sean and second-place winner Dheven Unni, 12, a seventh grader at Forest Ridge Academy, went back and forth as the last two spellers standing. Sean flubbed on “paraphrasable,” but when Dheven goofed on “experiential,” they were both back in for another round.

When Dheven missed “venerable,” Sean won with “lexicology.” But the rounds weren’t over then; four spellers faced tie-breaking rounds for the last two spots in the top 10.

Clutching a large trophy and a CD with a 300-page spelling list for the next level of competition, Sean said he probably wouldn’t do anything particular, other than continuing to study with his mom.

Jodi Ives said the family recently moved to Crown Point from Michigan, where Sean participated successfully in several spelling bees for parochial schools. The family is awaiting word on whether Sean made it into a geography bee while he gets ready for the next spelling bee.

“He likes to do it, but I do have to take the initiative,” Ives said. “Other kids behind him want the same opportunity.”



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