Shared from the 2017-05-31 The Daily Gazette eEdition

MAYFIELD

Eleven-year-old in national spelling bee

Local student among 17 New Yorkers to compete

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Collin Shea will compete in the national spelling bee that begins today.

An 11-year-old from Fulton County is among 17 New York State youths competing in this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, which takes place today and Thursday.

Collin Shea, a fifth-grader at Mayfield Elementary School, qualified for the national competition via a series of local and regional spelling bees.

He is one of 30 11-year-olds from around the country to compete. A total of 285 spellers — 144 boys and 141 girls, ranging in age from 6 to 15 -- are vying for the top prize in this year’s bee.

Shea is set to compete starting at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, the first day of competition, according to a schedule on ESPN’s website. The sports network will broadcast and live-stream the bee, which is taking place at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Shea’s family traveled to Maryland Friday for a series of preliminary events centered around the bee.

Mayfield Elementary School Principal Nicholas Criscone said the school gave O’Shea a proper send off Friday.

“We had a bulletin board where students wrote good luck messages, and they’re all posted in the hallway,” he said. “At dismissal, we had all the students line up in the hall, and we played the Rocky theme song as everyone cheered Collin on. He was getting really pumped.”

Students in Shea’s fifth-grade class will be allowed to watch him compete Wednesday. Teachers will monitor the broadcast for his appearance and will pull students into the library to witness his portion of the competition. Shea is speller No. 156, according to the bee’s website.

Shea’s dad, Kevin Shea, said Tuesday that his son is nervous but ready.

“Of course he’s got the jitters,” said Kevin Shea. “There’s almost 300 kids here, and he’s in quite an elite group, so I’m sure he feels a little intimidated. But he’s looking forward to tomorrow.”

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