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W-I-N: Hendricks Avenue fifth-grader wins county Spelling Bee

Spelling bee winner Graham Glasheen with first runner up Anthony Du Guzman of Blessed Trinity and second runner up Matthew Vega of Bartram Springs.

Jan. 31, 2019 - Graham Glasheen calmly walked up to the microphone after being asked to spell a word meaning "intended to teach."

D-I-D-A-C-T-I-C. Didactic.

It was that moment the Hendricks Avenue Elementary fifth-grader won the county-wide Scripps Spelling Bee -- a feat he was unsure he would be able to achieve.

"I was so nervous," said Glasheen. "I was spelling against sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders!"

Glasheen said the nerves went away every time he went up to the microphone. He said when he went up to spell a word, it was just a matter of remembering it the way he practiced it at home.

Glasheen did not take studying lightly. He studied up to 50 words each day with his older sister and parents. He also studied a packet of words given to him by one of his biggest supporters -- his principal, Mindy Mclendon.

"His teacher and I went to support him," said Mclendon. "We're so proud of him."

Glasheen's favorite words to spell are words of German origin or American origin.

With this fantastic achievement behind him, Glasheen excitedly awaits the regional Scripps Spelling Bee, on Feb. 19, where he will spell alongside students from across Northeast Florida at Jacksonville University.

Although his claim to fame is spelling, Glasheen's favorite school subject is math. He hopes one day to be a Disney Imagineer or work in the medical field.


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