Van Wert 6th-grander Aaron Reichert poses with his awards after winning the county spelling bee in February. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
Van Wert 6th-grander Aaron Reichert poses with his awards after winning the county spelling bee in February. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

VAN WERT – Aaron Reichert, a student at Van Wert Middle School, will be representing the local county at the 65th Annual Journal Gazette Spelling Bee this Saturday.

Fifteen county spelling bee champions from northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio will compete at the 65th annual Journal Gazette Regional Spelling Bee presented by STAR Financial Bank on Saturday, March 9, at Purdue University Fort Wayne’s Rhinehart Music Center. Spelling will begin at 10 a.m. in the Rhinehart Recital Hall.

Reichert captured the Van Wert County Spelling Bee early in February at the Marsh Foundation School Auditorium. At the time for six rounds, Reichert and Crestview seventh grader Olivia Ramos produced perfect spellings in a real dogfight finale to this year’s bee.

Finally, in the 10th round, Ramos misspelled “croquet”. Reichert then correctly spelled “postmortem” and “morgue” to clinch the title.

Since that time, Reichert has been preparing diligently for the upcoming regional event.

“I feel good. I just kept practicing since then,” said Reichert on Tuesday morning at Van Wert Middle School. “I look up the words and remember the rules for the languages.

“They gave us each a list of words to work on,” said Reichert. “I’ve worked on it mainly by myself. I like doing it mostly alone.”

Reichert said he originally signed up to compete in the county spelling bee through the encouragement of a friend.

“He signed up and so I did, too. He thought it was very cool that I won. There were the only three to sign up from our class,” said Reichert. “I like it because it helps expand my vocabulary.

“Learning all of those words taught me how to be better with spelling,” continued Reichert. “It works out because language arts is my favorite subject in school.”

In addition to his own self-driven tendency to study, he also credited his mother for assisting him with his studies.

Reichert said that his parents, Julia and Gary Reichert, thought that it was cool that he won the county spell bee.

“They hope that I can continue,” said Reichert.

The winner of the Regional Spelling Bee will represent The Journal Gazette and STAR Financial Bank at the 92nd Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in May. The winner will also receive a one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online, The Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, and a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online Premium.