HJ/EDMarch 13, 2006

LP student earns second trip to state spelling bee

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

It was the word “silica” that kept Michael Schnaser, Lester Prairie seventh grader, from taking first place at the regional spelling bee Feb. 21.

However, Schnaser seemed content to walk away with third place and a chance to attend the state spelling bee Tuesday, March 28 in St. Cloud.

The one-day regional spelling bee at Marshall had 40 top spellers from area schools competing.

In the morning session, there was a written test, preliminary oral rounds, and a spell down. Scores from the written test and the preliminary oral rounds were added together, with the top 17 students participating in the afternoon spell down.

After 14 rounds in the afternoon spell down, Schnaser was named one of the five top students to move on to the state spelling bee in St. Cloud.

The winner of the state competition will participate in the national spelling bee in Washington, DC, in late May.

This will be Schnaser’s second chance to attend the state spelling bee. Last year, he did not win, but is hoping to do better this year.

Schnaser explained the reason he does well at these spelling bees is, “before I spell the word out, I always write the word out to be safe.”

Another reason Schnaser does so well is spelling just seems to come easy to him. He does not spend extra time worrying about learning new words and how to spell them.

He takes a regular spelling test every week at school just like all of the other students in his class, but that is the extent of practicing for him. He reads occasionally, but would rather play his Nintendo Game Cube. He also likes to hunt and fish.

Schnaser lives within walking distance of Lester Prairie School with his parents, Don and Mary. He has one younger sister, Emily.

He likes school. Schnaser’s favorite classes are math, “because it is easy,” and history, “because we are always learning something new,” something that he did not know before.

In looking ahead to his future, and beyond taking first place at the state spelling bee in St. Cloud later this month, Schnaser is thinking that he would like to go into architecture, or maybe the medical field.

Two people that he admires are Bill Gates and Donald Trump. When asked if he admired them because they are successful or because they are rich, he replied, “a little of both.”

The Lester Prairie School faculty and students speak with pride when talking about Michael’s accomplishments.

Asst. Principal Ron Erpanbach had this to say about Schnaser and the upcoming spelling bee contest, “Michael is a wonderful student and I am confident that he will represent us well.”

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