Janesville47.7°

Janesville student finishes second in state spelling bee

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Catherine W. Idzerda
March 27, 2011
— Non·age n 1 Law a) the period during which one is legally underage.

—Webster’s New World Dictionary


Rose Beach finally met her match, and it was nonage.


Beach, an eighth grader at Edison Middle School, Janesville, finished second in Saturday’s 63rd annual Badger State Spelling Bee at Edgewood College in Madison. There were 28 competitors.


“Nonage” was the word that did her in. Fellow competitor Parker Dietry, Waunakee, spelled nonage and then won by spelling “jackanapes.”


The finish was the best by a Janesville student in recent memory—unless you go back to 2010, when Beach took fourth place.


Fortunately, Beach isn’t one of those kids whose self-esteem is tied up in being able to spell words like “corpuscle,” “facetious,” “juggernaut” “isinglass” and other words from the absurd and unpredictable English language.


In an interview before the bee, her father, Steve Beach, said that although his daughter was “pretty well prepared” for the event, “spelling isn’t her whole life so her ego’s not all tied up in it.”


That’s true.


In her interview, Rose Beach was serene and articulate—or should that be quiescent and perspicacious? No, that doesn’t quite cover it.


“I’m still having fun, but I’ll be kind of relieved when it’s over, and I don’t have to study anymore,” Beach said. “It takes up a lot of time.”


Beach talked about how she has prepared for the many bees she has competed in.


“My Dad made a computer program,” Beach explained.


The program was designed to track her misses, how often she had reviewed certain words and the words with which she particularly struggled.


According to the program, she’s spelled 5,957 words 19,300 times.


“When I miss a word, my dad writes them on a chalkboard,” Beach said.


“I used to write them on my hand to review later, but I was starting to fill up my arm to my elbow.


An arm full of practice words often translated to an arm full-of-words.


Of course, she also worked with, and was supported by, her mom, Becky Beach, a family practice physician at Mercy South.


What’s next?


She’s reached the age- and grade-limit for the state bees, but she has lots of other interests.


“I like to draw,” said Beach. “I’ve tried random different media, but I’ve gone back to pencil.”


She confessed that she’s better at some drawing skills than others. “I’m pretty good at setting up the composition, but I’m not as good at hatching,” Beach said. “I have to do a lot of blending.”


As for school, she loves art, of course, and “math is pretty fun.”


Headlines plot student’s rise in local spelling bees


Rose Beach’s history is in the headlines.


Beach finished second at Saturday’s 63rd annual Badger State Spelling Bee at Edgewood College in Madison.


It took hundreds of hours of practice and dozens of trips to the microphone to get her to Madison.


Beach’s spelling bee-career trajectory can be plotted using Janesville Gazette headlines. Highlights include:


Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011: “Janesville girl wins regional spelling bee.” Beach won the 2011 CESA Regional Spelling Bee at Milton High with the word “excommunicate.” The win qualified her for the state bee.


Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010: “Janesville Spelling Bee winner looks to fly higher.” Beach wins the Janesville Spelling Bee.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010: “City girl fourth at state spelling bee.” Beach takes fourth place, spelling words such as “filament,” “indigenous,” “mnemonic,” “punctilio” and “hartebeest.”


Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010: “Third time’s a charm for Janesville top speller.” Beach wins the regional bee in East Troy with “prodigious” and “ceremoniously.”


Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009: “A Rose that spells so sweet.” Rose spells “Amarillo” to win the city spelling bee.


Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008: “You’ve got to play to win.” Beach takes third in the city’s spelling bee. Katie Biester is first and Loghan Hallett takes second.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008: “Team’s Forceful Knowledge wins book battle.”


The Reading Rainbows take second place in the Battle of the Books. The team is made up of Rose Beach, Michaela Tracey, Korby Richins and Bailey Pierce.”



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