Escondido teen Giabao Tonthat gears up for National Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee begins May 28

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - An Escondido eighth grader will be heading to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., the nation's biggest spelling bee.

Giabao Tonthat, 13, will represent San Diego County after winning the county bee in March. The Heritage Charter School student correctly spelled "bonspiel" -- which refers to a match in the sport of curling -- for the win.

However, there's a new twist to this year's National Spelling Bee -- students will have to know not only how to spell the words but also the definition of the words.

Tonthat told 10News that he's been studying for two hours a day since his first attempt at the spelling bee last year.

"I've been studying for a year; when I study I usually write down the definition," Tonthat told 10News. "It's just a matter of reinforcing the definition into your mind because I tend to forget some."

"I've set my expectations pretty high and I really want to meet them," Tonthat added.

Tonthat's entire family of seven will be joining him in Washington, D.C., to support him.

"I don't know how far I'll get, but I will try my best," Tonthat said.

10News will be at the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee when it gets underway next Thursday. We'll follow the progress of Tonthat.


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