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MPS middle school students prepare for this weekend's Spelling Bee

Posted at 6:45 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 19:45:13-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students were hard at work Thursday as they get ready to bring home a Spelling Bee championship.

This weekend, the district's middle-schooler's compete to represent as Milwaukee's top spellers.

"​I'm very excited, but at the same time, I'm very nervous because I'm competing against other schools to see who knows their vocabulary the best," seventh grader Pereon Smith said.

At Rufus King International Middle School, TMJ4 News caught up with Smith and Keilee Horton as they prepped for the weekend.

"I would usually practice with my family members or my best friend Kaylin," Horton said. "Sometime, I'll have my brother help me practice."

This marks the first Spelling Bee for the district in 15 years. This year, eight schools are participating.

"I just went for it. I gave it my all and I passed the last two rounds, trying to pass the third," sixth grader Memphis Pena said.

"It means a lot," eighth grader Jason Terasek said. "My dad, he didn't really win the first one. He didn't win the Spelling Bee, but knowing I can go there and in a way, redeem the Terasek name. It would be great."

MPS middle school students prepare for Spelling Bee

But despite who wins, teachers and coaches are happy these spellers have an opportunity to have fun and do their best.

"I think it's a great esteem builder to see your teachers there, other members of your community come," school support teacher Leah Donohue said.

Now an entire community will be cheering on dozens of kids and MPS' top spellers.

TMJ4 will be broadcasting live the Milwaukee Public Schools Spelling Bee on Saturday.

The spelling bee is scheduled for the following times on Saturday:

  • 9:00 a.m.: 6th grade (8 students)
  • 10 a.m.: 7th grade (8 students)
  • 11:30 a.m.: 8th grade (9 students)

You can watch the spelling bee on TMJ4's streaming applications like Roku or Apple TV, at, on the TMJ4 News App or on our TMJ4 Facebook page.

TMJ4's parent company is The E.W. Scripps Company., which hosts the Scripps National Spelling Beeevery year.

This year, 234 spellers from across the country and around the world will compete to take home the Scripps Cup. The 2022 Finals are scheduled for Thursday, June 2.

Good luck, spellers!

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