SAUK VILLAGE | For Taylor McKenzie, the winning word was “receptacle.”
McKenzie, a seventh-grader at Rickover Junior High School, became on Tuesday the student who will represent the school at the Intermediate Service Center Scripps Spelling Bee on Feb. 13 at Central Middle School in southwest suburban Tinley Park.
Students from across the south suburbs will participate in that event, and McKenzie became the representative of Rickover when she won the school’s spelling bee. The winner of that event can advance to the National Scripps Spelling Bee which takes place in June in Washington, D.C.
All students at Rickover school had a chance to represent their homerooms during an in-school spelling bee, and Samuel Raheem, a sixth-grader, and Victor Segoviano, an eighth-grader, who are the best spellers of their grades, went up against McKenzie to be the best in the school.
Students were asked to spell words such as “lips,” “drum” and “cloudy,” with McKenzie managing to properly spell everything she was asked.
She ultimately won by properly spelling “receptacle,” although the judges made a point of asking her twice to spell it to ensure she got it correct and they heard her properly.
As for McKenzie, “I was nervous at the beginning, but it got easier as it went on,” she said, adding later, “the whole thing went by quicker than I thought it would.”
For her part, Rickover school Principal Myra Patterson said she hopes the other students in the school see the event and are motivated to want to participate next year.
“You can be a winner too,” she told the students. “You need to study, study, study and read, read, read.”
Participation in the spelling bee was an event that was meant to bolster English classes at the junior high school, yet McKenzie says her favorite subject actually is mathematics.
Not that she’s going around looking for a math competition to participate in.
“I don’t know how I’d do,” she said.