Maclay Middle School Students Win Regional Competitions.
Congratulations to Maclay Middle School students Venkat Maddipoti and Wyatt Thomas, who recently won area academic competitions. Venkat will travel to Washington D.C. at the end of May to participate in the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee after winning the Big Bend Regional Spelling Bee. Wyatt Thomas will participate in the National GeoBee at the end of March. The GeoBee will be proctored online this year out of an abundance of caution for COVID-19.
In preparation, Maddipoti spends plenty of time working on expanding his vocabulary.
The most helpful thing for me is to know the definitions of words to make connections when spelling,” Maddipoti said. “For this reason, I spend just as much time researching word definitions and origins as I do studying actual spellings.”
Thomas’s preparation is more relaxed.
“I haven't really prepared for the previous competition other than playing a few games that have to deal with maps, and I don't plan on practicing for the next one,” Thomas said.
Both students share a love for history, and Maddipoti loves analyzing literature in his English class.
“I don't necessarily have a favorite subject in school, but certain lessons and concepts in each class intrigue me,” Maddipoti said. “For example, the War of 1812 is exciting to learn about in U.S. History, but analyzing To Kill a Mockingbird in English is just as interesting.”
For Maddipoti, his favorite part of the competitions is being up on stage spelling the words.
“My favorite part of the Spelling Bee is simply being up there at the [microphone], spelling a word,” Maddipoti said. “Beforehand, I dread this time and am anxious about it, but in the moment, it feels really great. After a few rounds, you start to get settled and used to it, and it becomes more competitive as less and less spellers remain.”
Thomas’ favorite part of the competition was answering the final question in the Regional Geo-Bee.
“My favorite part of the competition would have to be the final question,” Thomas said. “I only knew [the answer] because of a picture I studied a few days before.”
Though the two will take different preparatory approaches, Maclay wishes them both good luck at their upcoming competitions. Go Marauders!
- Hunt Deison, Maclay senior and DIS student in Communications