MENOMONEE FALLS (5/12/16) — On May 25th, Veronica Goveas, a 7th grade student from North Middle School in Menomonee Falls will be front and center on stage at for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the Maryland Ballroom in National Harbor, Maryland.
“I’m really excited for the national bee because it’s really a once in a lifetime opportunity and I really want to make the most out of it” she said.
It’s been a long time coming for Veronica, who has competed at the state spelling bee in Madison for three years now, finally taking the title of state champion this past March. Her winning word was “pharmacognosy.”
In between the state and national event, Veronica has been brushing up on her vocabulary.
“They give you lots and lots of lists, especially when you go to the national bee,” she said. “They give you a 400 word list and they also give you a 476,000 word dictionary.”
She said that she’ll get the list pretty well memorized as well as their definitions as there is a definition round, but the dictionary will be tough to complete.
Veronica and her family, like many gifted children in the district, work closely with Sue Lee, K-12 Enrichment Coordinator for the district.
“Ms. Lee has done so much work with Veronica and her family,” said Lynn Grimm, North Middle School principal. “We’re very proud of (Veronica).”
It’s safe to say Veronica’s younger sibling Immanuel, will soon be making it to state as he placed in the regional spelling be as a 3rd grader. Typically the spelling bee at the School District of Menomonee Falls is for students from 5th grade to 8th grade, but Veronica’s parents had a special question for Lee.
“A year ago before the school spelling bees, Mr. & Mrs. Goveas came to me with a question,” Lee said. “‘Could students younger than 5th grade participate in the school spelling bee?'”
So the district re-worked how the spelling bee functioned and opened it up to students from 3rd to 8th grade this year.
Veronica was recently honored by the school board for her achievement and when a board member asked what her favorite word was, she came back with:
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis: a lung disease caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust.
She says when she grows up she wants to be a neonatologist and is passionate about improving the health of infants and toddlers. She hopes to attend Yale to help achieve her goals.
The national spelling bee will be broadcast live on ESPN 3 on May 25 at 9 a.m., on ESPN 2 on May 26 at 10 a.m. and the final round on ESPN on May 26 at 9 p.m.