Burg Student runner-up in spelling bee

March 19, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Despite coming down with a case of poison ivy, Wheelersburg Elementary School student Nate Marcum, finished second in the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee in Athens this past weekend. Nate, an eighth grader, is the son of Nancy Marcum of Wheelersburg.

After eight rounds of competition, Matthew Pitcock, an eight grader in Maysville Elementary School, won the Ohio University Scripps College of Communication Regional Spelling Bee held Saturday in the Margaret Walter Hall in Athens. Matthew is the son of Tom and Jenna Pitcock of Zanesville, Ohio. Matthew won the final round when he spelled the word ‘harfang,’ a word of German and Swedish origin that is the name of a snowy owl.

The Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University will sponsor Matthew’s trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., May 28-30, 2013.

“Nate is one of only a few individuals who have qualified all four years of their eligibility,” Jerry Miller, interim director of the School of Communications at Ohio University said. “He made a valiant effort, and I have enjoyed him the times I have had to work with him.”

Fifth to eighth grade students attending schools in Ashland, Athens, Champaign, Coshocton, Crawford, Fayette, Gallia, Guernsey, Hocking, Huron, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Logan, Marion, Meigs, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Pike, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Union and Vinton Counties who won their school bees and passed an online test were invited to attend the regional competition. Sixty-one of the seventy students qualified to attend the Bee participated in Saturday’s event.

Nancy Marcum said her son had a horrendous case of poison ivy kick in on Friday night before Saturday’s bee. He had a horrible reaction. Nate was broken out all over, face swollen and his eye almost shut. Nancy Marcum said her son went to the ER, was discharged about 6 a.m. and then traveled to compete in the bee that day with less than an hour’s sleep.

“He is lots tougher than I am,” Nancy Marcum said.

After just finishing the competition in which he finished second, Nate is also preparing to participate in the National History Bee for middle schoolers. That bee was created last year. Marcum said they watched the finals that were televised on the History Channel, and Nate immediately said he wanted to do it.

“When we checked online we found even though ‘Burg school wasn’t participating that we could pay for Nate to enroll as an individual participant,” Nancy Marcum said. “The schools that were enrolled held bees. Those school winners and all the indviduals registered then took an online examination to determine who would move on to the regional bee. Nate qualified and will participate in our regional bee held in Lexington, Ky. on April 8. He is excited to do it.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com.