Eighth grader wins back-to-back IPS spelling bees

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1st to 3rd place winners at the IPS spelling bee. (Photo//IPS)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Dishevel. That's D-I-S-H-E-V-E-L, and it was the winning word for eighth-grader, Owen Norwalk, as he placed first in this year's Indianapolis Public Schools Spelling Bee.

Norwalk is now the two time reigning champion for the schools' annual competition. Spelling Bees have been around for nearly 100 years, giving students a chance, "to develop their skills in spelling and vocabulary."

"You know, these students take this very seriously. They were the winners of their school bees. They've put in lots of practice day and night," said an IPS spokesperson, "with their family and friends in many cases. So today is their time to shine."

This will be the last year Owen Norwalk competes for this particular title. The IPS Spelling Bee is for students grades four through eight. Last year, Norwalk made it all the way to nationals. He was one of 11 million kids to compete in Washington D.C., and he was the first student from IPS to qualify in several decades.

"It's their opportunity to showcase all that they've studied, all that they've memorized," said Carrie Cline Black, the IPS spokesperson.

Norwalk has a new Microsoft Surface Go to help him study ahead of the regional spelling bee in March. He won the tablet today and a trophy too. Taking home the trophies for second and third place were competitors Elliot Hunt (2nd) and Cole Weidenbach (3rd).

The competition was hosted at Arsenal Tech High School, bringing in the top spellers from 37 different Indianapolis Public Schools.

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