After eighth grader Tara Dobos took home the Orcas all-school championship spelling bee title in January, she participated in the Skagit Regional Spelling Bee, coming in second place. Her losing word was “inane.”
“I prayed for the best thing to happen – no matter what it was,” she said.
Dobos, who is home-schooled, spent three months studying for two hours a day. She says she’s proficient at long, complicated words while shorter words are not her strong suit.
“I was never a good speller, but then it clicked,” Dobos said. “I really enjoy pushing myself and achieving a goal. It’s been a big confidence boost for me.”
Dobos competed against 30 fourth through eighth graders at the Skagit Bee over 18 rounds. She went back and forth for eight rounds with the winner of the bee, a fifth grade girl. Dobos is an alternate for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
Her mom, Julia, couldn’t be more proud of her young speller.
“I was a mess at the Orcas bee,” she said. “So for this one, I tried to be really calm. My heart fluttered every time she spelled a word.”
Tara is looking forward to mentoring other island spellers.
“There is going to be an Orcas kid at the Scripps Bee. I am positive,” she said.