Cornerstone Prep sixth grader Kaitlyn Burger participated in the Association of Christian Schools International National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. on May 5 and placed in the Top 10. She was one of 42 spellers in the ACSI 30th Annual Bee.
“I studied the spelling bee words for, I don't know, maybe an hour per day,” said Kaitlyn, “I also studied 7th grade level Greek/Latin roots.” And while she has always been a good speller, being the best speller wasn’t necessarily her goal. “I think it's a God-given talent. I've made it to the district bee since I first came here, and since then it's always been a goal to make it further.”
Kaitlin said her best moment was, “During the bee, they go to a set of unpublished words that nobody can study. Some of those words are from previous lists. So, in 5th grade I got out on my first word in the spell-off, "quintessence." I will never forget how to spell it. And guess what the first word I got on the unpublished list was in the National Spelling Bee? Quintessence. It was hilarious and it allowed me to get to the top ten!”
"It felt very surreal to be there," said Kaitlyn, " If someone told me six months ago that I would have made it this far, I wouldn't have believed them, but then there I was - so I guess it was really an amazing privilege."
While in D.C., Kaitlyn and her parents took time to see some sights, including Arlington National Cemetery where they got to meet some WWII Veterans. They also got to see the Lincoln Memorial, Korean Memorial, and the Vietnam Wall.
Kaitlyn also was able to meet other ACSI students. "I did meet lots of people, but two that I will always remember - an 8th grader from Midway named Alisha Start and a 6th grader named Aubrey Biddle from High Pointe Christian School in North Carolina. Alisha is someone I look up to. She's really kind, funny, and we actually have a lot in common. She's coming to Cornerstone next year. Aubrey is somebody I can really relate to. She's really nice and polite."
We are proud of Kaitlyn and how hard she worked to make it to the ACSI Spelling Bee. Thank you, Kaitlyn, for representing our school so well!
- Kaitlyn Burger