Scripps Awaits For Salisbury Spelling Bee Champ - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Scripps Awaits For Salisbury Spelling Bee Champ

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SALISBURY, Md. - Most students at Bennett Middle School are looking at summer vacation as a break from the books.

But not 13-year-old Khaled Mohamed, who's still studying a dictionary, on his quest to be the last teen standing at this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee.

"If I go now, I'd have a good chance [of winning]," said Khaled.

Since winning the regional finals at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore back in March -- Khaled and his mom Sarah Jamell spent hundreds of hours preparing. He repeats dozens of words daily.  In a trial test at his house, he spouted off word after word, spelling out "d-e-n-i-m", "d-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y" and "c-r-o-q-u-e-t-t-e".

Khaled studies after school and on weekends, taking in definitions, origins of words and the correct spellings of 9,000 words from his Scripps study guides.

Jamell tests Khaled and asks him to identify a word meaning, "at or near the articulatory position for one vowel and moves to or toward the position of another." Before she finishes "articulatory", Khaled answers "diphthong" and then proceeds to spell out the word.

"No one can possibly memorize all [9,000 study words], so we're just taking what's given and we're trying to take a big picture and just narrow it down," said Jamell.

But Khaled's chance may not have been without the advice of his teacher Julie Giordano. Giordano teaches Khaled's Relay class for gifted and talented students.

"Anything he puts his mind to Khaled accomplishes," said Giordano. "If he has his mind set that he's going to do it, he's going to do it."

Win or lose, he's excited to represent his community of Salisbury.

"Whatever happens, happens, I gave my best effort towards it, so I'll just be happy with my results," said Khaled.

Before competing on national television, Khaled must take a computer-based preliminary test on Tuesday.  If he passes, he will be eligible for Wednesday's second round.  Click here for a full list of events.


Story on UMES statement about Khaled Mohamed

Story on Bennett Middle School support for Khaled Mohamed

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