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Local spellers ready to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee

Posted at 4:51 PM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-25 17:51:14-04

The top spellers from around the country will be in Washington, D.C., next week for the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Three spellers will represent Wisconsin including two from the Milwaukee area.

One of those is 11-year-old Immanuel Goveas of Germantown. TODAY'S TMJ4 first met the 5th grader two years ago when his older sister Veronica was preparing to compete in the Bee.

He credits practicing with her for helping him get ready for his turn at the microphone.

"It definitely helped me build up my vocabulary to this day," he said.

To get to Nationals Immanuel had to compete at the State level. There, he made it to the top two where he competed against one of last year's State winners, Hanna Ghouse of Kenosha.

"Finally the pronouncer was like, 'I'm going to give you guys 10 words. If you are still on stage, you are going to be co-champions,' So we were co-champions and I was really happy," he said. 

Immanuel studies about two hours a day and everyone in the family helps him practice, especially the tough words.

"I have trouble spelling long words because sometimes I have trouble keeping track of what I say," he said. "Some languages that are hard like French and Italian- those are really hard ones."

When Immanuel isn't spelling he likes playing soccer. Friends on his soccer team and at school have written him cards of encouragement. They're all excited to see him compete in the big competition.

"I'm looking forward to representing our state, going to Nationals, and to just meet a lot of other spellers and have a lot of fun," he said. 

The Scripps National Spelling Bee runs May 27 - June 1.

TODAY'S TMJ4 is owned by the E.W. Scripps Company.