"I stopped counting at 44," Miami-Dade Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho said about student funerals at the second Joint Roundtable on Youth Safety meeting. Liberty City activist Cuthbert Harewood, Sunny Isles Beach Police Chief Fred Maas, Ray Parris of Parafruit and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez spoke about issues related to teen violence.
The 2013 Miami Herald Spelling Bee is back for the 73rd year and just like most spelling bees- the competition was tough.
Matthew Miller, a fourth grader that participated in the event, had trouble while spelling one of the words in the competition.
“Sombrero…I forgot to put the R in front of the E so kind of tricked me up,” said Miller from Gateway Christian Academy.
More than 300 South Florida elementary and middle schools participated in the spelling bee, but the stage slowly cleared as the words became more and more difficult.
Fifth grader Peyton Robertson from Pine Crest School won the elementary school division of the spelling bee with a word he thought was pretty easy.
“Divulgation: D-I-V-U-L-G-A-T-I-O-N, piece of cake huh?” said Robertson, as he laughed.
The majority of the students who participate have a high vocabulary and read often, but many were reading and studying their words all the way up until the moment of the spelling bee.
“Well just looking at the words can help you remember how they are in your mind and you can spell it out easier,” said Caitlin Detorres, an 8th grader at Nativity Catholic School. “Seeing the words right before can help you, you never know.”
The event drew a big crowd, but the biggest supporters were the parents that came to cheer on their kids.
“We just are happy that he’s a good reader and it’s a part of his education,” said mom Karin Lupariello.
The champion of the middle school competition will go on to represent Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties at the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.