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West Chester Area School District Student Spells His Way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee

Can you spell “dedication” (D-E-D-I-C-A-T-I-O-N)? What about “formulaic” (F-O-R-M-U-L-A-I-C)? While competing in the 2023 Chester County Spelling Bee on Tuesday, February 7, Stetson Middle School student, Christian Miller, proved his dedication to his studies and passion for spelling. Miller ultimately took home first place in the competition and qualified to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, MD in May.


Christian Miller

“We are so proud of Christian,” said his mom, Rose Miller. “He’s been studying really hard and is very excited to represent his school and Chester County in the National Spelling Bee as well as get the opportunity to experience D.C. and everything Scripps plans for the participants,” she added.


To compete in the Chester County Spelling Bee, Miller had to first win the spelling bee held at Stetson Middle School. He then competed against 37 students in grades 3rd through 8th until he was the final student remaining with the word “formulaic” (F-O-R-M-U-L-A-I-C). During the competition, students can ask the origin of the word, how it's used in a sentence, and the definition to help them determine the exact spelling.


“Although you may not get the words that you’re familiar with, studying and hard work give your brain the knowledge to adapt to the words you’re given, and hopefully, spell them correctly,” said Miller. “The Word Club app was a beneficial supplement, along with getting quizzed on the words orally.”


Miller and Stolzer

While the most exciting prize for achieving first place in the Chester County Spelling Bee is the opportunity to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Miller will also receive the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award certificate and a 2023 U.S. Mint Proof Coin Set, a one-year subscription to Merriam Webster Unabridged Online and Encyclopedia Britannica Online, and a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card. Miller’s six-night hotel accommodations during the competition will be covered for him and his family and he will get to participate in activities during “Bee Week” with other students throughout the country. 


Miller is the second Stetson Middle School student to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. His peers and teachers, like the Stetson Spelling Bee Coordinator, Mr. Peter Stolzer, cannot wait to cheer Miller on in the national competition. “Christian did well just to win our school spelling bee, which was a spirited competition,” said Stolzer. “We knew he could finish high in the county bee, but for him to win is fantastic. He’ll be a great representative for Stetson and the WCASD during National Bee Week.”