Aiden Clerico, an eighth grade student at West Jefferson Middle School, participated in the 2018 Scripps College of Communication Regional Spelling Bee hosted at Ohio University in Athens on Saturday, March 24. He was one of 122 school champions from Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, and Pickaway counties to take an online exam to qualify for the regional bee. Only 49 students earn a score high enough to earn an invitation to the regional competition. He won the Region II Spelling Bee which includes an all expenses paid trip to the Washington, D.C. area to compete in the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee May 27 to June 1.
Clerico was the Madison County, Ohio Spelling Champion in 2016 and 2018. He tied for fourth in the regional bee at Ohio University in 2016 and won the competition to go to the Scripps National Bee in 2018. He is thrilled with the opportunity to attend. He owes much of his success to Paula Nance, his teacher and spelling coach, and this is her “swan song” as she is retiring in May. In addition, he enjoyed competing against and occasionally beating his “gramma” playing Scrabble online.
He is a scholar/athlete who is gifted in math and music. He enjoys the piano, playing trumpet with the high school marching band, and is now tackling the saxophone. He represents his school, the West Jefferson Roughriders in soccer, basketball and track as well as competing with Club Ohio, his travel soccer team.
Aiden and his family plan to travel to Italy in 2019. He is an avid fan and follower of all Cleveland and Ohio State Buckeye teams. He enjoys roughhousing with and competing against his brother who is an Irish twin (11 months younger) and has two dogs that he adores.
Aiden is speller No. 408 of 519 participants, both U.S. and international.
Onstage competition will take place over three days, May 29-31. For rounds two and three, spellers will spell in five groups:
Tuesday, May 29: Round two
• Spellers 1-104: 9:15-10:35 a.m.
• Spellers 105-208: 10:45 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.
• Spellers 209-312: 1-2:20 p.m.
• Spellers 313-416: 2:30-3:50 p.m.
• Spellers 417-519: 4-5:20 p.m.
If you spell correctly in round two, you will move on to round three.
Wednesday, May 30: Round three
• Spellers 1-104: 8-9:25 a.m.
• Spellers 105-208: 9:35-11 a.m.
• Spellers 209-312: 11:10 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.
• Spellers 313-416: 2-3:25 p.m.
• Spellers 417-519: 3:35-5 p.m.
If you spell correctly in rounds two and three, your preliminaries test score will determine whether you move on to further rounds of oral spelling.
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