Ethan Wall
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Spelling Bee Champion

"Ethan Wall!" echoed through the Sudderth hallway on February 27, 2012.  He seems to be quite the celebrity these days.  Ethan came thundering in with a huge grin on his 12 year old face.  This excited, polite and sharp boy had just recently won his first Regional Spelling Bee.

Ethan Wall won Odessa American's 34th Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday, February 25, 2011 at the Odessa College Auditorium.  Ethan is the son of Stacy and Dianna Wall, of Monahans.  Sudderth Principal, Kathy Lewallen said, "This was so exciting.  Ethan did really well.  We are proud of him."  Lewallen relayed that Ethan was given a word and spelled it correctly, but the judges ruled that the word was incorrect.  They listened to the tape and held their ruling, but Ethan went on to win the Spelling Bee.  Ethan said, "I tend to spell the words too quickly and I think that is where the confusion came in with the word dyslexia."

Out of a total of 19 students Ethan Wall and Kara Lehnert, 11, of Sweetwater were left to battle for the Championship.  The two went back and forth spelling words for 14 rounds during the final.  Ethan said, "The girl that I had to go up against was really good.  She has a better chance of winning next year because Sweetwater has a middle school Spelling Bee program.  My librarian said she would see about making a middle school program here for next year.  If I don't win this year, I hope they make a program next year so I participate again."  After spelling 'lieutenant' and 'ostentatious' correctly Ethan was declared the winner.  Ethan said of the win, "I felt weird because I have never won Regionals.  Last year in San Angelo, I placed 15 out of 30.  I'm glad I got to participate again this year."

Ethan will be traveling to Washington, D.C. to compete in the National Spelling Bee on May 20-27, 2012.  When asked how he felt about his upcoming adventure, Ethan exclaimed, "I get to miss a whole week of school!  Other than moving from Georgia to Texas, I have never been out of state.  I am very excited!"  Ethan and his dad will be flying to Washington D.C.  Ethan hopes that his librarian, principal and teacher can also attend the Spelling Bee.

To prepare for the Regional Spelling Bee Ethan studied four times a week, mostly with his father.  Instead of studying the dictionary, he chose to study the origin of words.  He says that when he misses words he goes back to his room to study and then his father has him spell them again.  Ethan said the hardest word to spell for him was 'stoic' because it depends on how the word is enunciated as to what meaning and spelling you use.  Dianna Wall said, "We are proud of Ethan and we are glad he has this opportunity!"

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