Good luck Gia Bautista @ the National Spelling Bee

  • Friday, May 23, 2014

    Good luck Gia Bautista @ the National Spelling Bee

    Gia Bautista, 2014 Md. Eastern Shore spelling championSALISBURY, MD- (May 23, 2014) - Gia Bautista, winner of the 2014 Maryland Eastern Shore Regional Spelling Bee, got a big send-off during lunch today at Wicomico Middle School, where classmates wished her well at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

    The seventh-grader will be joined at next week's competition just outside Washington, D.C. by 280 other competitors from the 50 states and U.S. territories, Department of Defense Schools in Europe as well as the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.

    Gia "demonstrates true leadership and dedication through her academic successes and all she does in the community," Principal Kelley Morris-Springston said. "We are beyond excited and look forward to seeing Gia represent Wicomico Middle School in the national spelling bee!"

    Gia spent four hours daily going over study guides and practicing from word lists since winning the regional bee March 1 at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. UMES is one of 17 colleges and universities and the lone historically black institution sponsoring a regional winner at the 86th national bee.

    The 12-year-old would like to visit the White House while in Washington and informed spelling bee organizers she hopes to "catch a glimpse of the president."

    Gia is among 90 first-time competitors, and 142 girls, in the event that tends to attract repeat winners in their respective regions. Five spellers will be appearing in the national bee for the fourth time. Gia competed in the inaugural Maryland Eastern Shore bee in 2013 but did not win.

    The competition gets under way May 27 with a computer-based vocabulary test that gauges competitors' knowledge of the thousands of words they have been studying this spring in preparation.

    Each of the 281 regional winners also will be given two words to spell during preliminary rounds May 28. A misspelled word leads to immediate elimination. Competitors who spell both their words correctly will then be ranked according to their computer test scores.

    The top 40-to-50 spellers qualify for the semi-finals May 29, which will be aired during the afternoon on ESPN2. The finals will be broadcast on ESPN the night of May 29.

    In her profile she submitted to national bee organizers, Gia said she prepares for spelling competitions by eating a breakfast of pancakes, an omelet, a banana and a glass of milk.

    She plays the flute in her school's band as well as the piano at home and in recitals. In addition to being the Lower Shore's top speller, she was named to the All-Shore Band this spring.

    Traveling to cultural sites is also a favorite activity and some day she hopes to visit the Louvre in Paris to see the Mona Lisa.


     Bill Robinson, director, Office of Public Relations, (410) 621-2355