KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KERO) — Spelling tough words off the top of our heads can get the best of many of us but school kids across the country have been practicing and are gearing up to compete at the national level at the Scripps Spelling Bee.
Fruitvale Junior High eighth grader John Eoh won his school, district and county spelling bees, so he’s gearing up to represent Kern County at the Scripps National Spelling Bee next week and he says it’s an experience he has waited for and is excited to have.
Eoh, a 13-year-old who loves music, swimming and spelling talks about his trophy when he won the spelling bee at the county level and he's now he’s off to Washington, D.C., for nationals.
“I'm really happy that I get to represent something for my area, I always think that representing something that you enjoy doing or something that you like is good,” said Eoh.
John has been participating and winning spelling bees since the fourth grade and two years ago, he won at the county level and qualified for nationals, but couldn’t go.
"Back in the sixth grade I won, but I wasn’t able to go because of COVID. But I'm really thankful that I still have another opportunity to go. I'm really happy about that,” said Eoh.
He says his studying method for spelling bees is a technique he learned from his Spanish teacher.
“It’s kind of like a correlation way, so instead of like hardcore memorizing, it’s kind of like relating it to other things and using imagery in your head, so things like that do help,” explains Eoh.
"Rather than like the knowledge I gain, and extra vocabulary, that helps a lot. But I think something that I gained probably even more than all the knowledge I gained is probably habits, like working habits, able to work hard, persevere through things, having a routine.”
He also plays the piano, violin and drums, and is involved in the student council but says that since this was his last year to participate in the spelling bee, practicing for that was his main focus.
"I did kind of put my all into it, I probably put even more time than I did in sixth grade, which kind of surprises me because I had more things going on besides spelling bee this year, but I kind of put those aside as like a secondary thing, put spelling bee first, and worked really hard for it, and I guess it paid off,” said Eoh.
"Thank you to everyone who has helped me probably, my family, my school, my county, everyone.”