Spell it Like You Mean it: Details on the UIL Spelling Bee Competition

Ella Ray (2021-2022), Co-Managing Editor

The University Interscholastic League, also known as UIL, is an organization that holds multiple competitions for various schools in Texas to compete in. These competitions are an excellent opportunity for students to express their passion for many different extracurricular activities. One of those diverse competitions is the spelling bee. Freshman Ananya Narayankumar explains how this competition allows different schools to showcase some of their most talented writers.

 

“The spelling bee is one of the different competitions that allows students who are adequate at spelling really shine through,” said Narayankumar.

 

Narayankumar believes that the competition requires constant preparation. In the much-needed preparation process, the students are given a packet filled with all of the words that could possibly make an appearance during the competition. According to advisor and AP Language teacher Macey Godfrey, students are required to prepare from a list of 1,500 preselected words.With this resource, students are able to master the spelling of these words.

 

“This packet is actually super helpful as it not only lets you learn how to spell the word but also what it means,” said Narayankumar.

 

Although the competition is very beneficial for high school students, many students often face scheduling problems as they have a jam packed agenda that leaves no time for any kind of time-consuming practice for the spelling bee. This obstacle often puts the students behind on their path to succeed in the contest. Narayankumar expresses how this problem can really strain the competing team as a whole.

 

“Along with most of my teammates, I have a lot of other academic events going on, so studying for the competition is hard to make time for,” said Narayankumar.

 

These scheduling conflicts can also discourage other students from joining the team. UIL requires a certain amount of spellers on a team in order for a school to compete. However, Godfrey reassures that the conflict has been resolved through conducting a large recruitment process, restoring the team to its full capacity of members once again.

 

“We found these students by word of mouth from other teachers promoting the contest,” said Godfrey.

 

For the competition, Godfrey hopes to have the team place in the top three at the district level. However, in order to reach this goal, students must maintain immense retention. This requires students to commit to the contest, constantly practicing the words with diligence.

 

“Ideally, we would rank high enough to advance to regionals, but we are happy with placing top three for this year since it is a rebuilding year,” said Godfrey.