Congratulations to Steven Wolfe on his spelling bee performance

June 03, 2005

Today we applaud Steven Wolfe, a Grace Academy eighth grader, for making it through two rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee this week.

To get that far by correctly spelling words that many people have never heard of is a great achievement indeed.

Wolfe, 14, won the 26th Annual Washington County Spelling bee in March by spelling "synapse."

According to the judge's list, that word means "the locus at which the nervous impulse passes from the axon of one neuron to the dendrites of another."

In March, Wolfe told The Herald-Mail that he spent an hour a night practicing for the bee, typing lists of words as an aid to memory. His family helped and revealed that the young speller had to learn a staggering 470,000 words.

But learning words is one thing, while spelling them on stage in front of an audience is another.

The team that helped the youngsters train may be in the audience, but if the speller freezes in the middle of a word, there is nothing that mom, dad or teachers can do to help.


The Herald-Mail sponsors the annual Washington County bee because we believe that spelling is an important skill.

Spelling words correctly is the mark of an educated person, and, as our readers remind us, of a publication that takes seriously the job of getting things correct.

But participating in the bee also teaches young people how to compete, and how to handle defeat in an event in which there can only be one winner.

To Steven Wolfe, we offer our congratulations for his performance. We know it won't be the last time this bright young man will do something great.

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