KA’s Chickaway spells way to 2nd-place finish
Otorhinolaryngology. Most of us do not have a clue what this word means, and have most likely never heard it, have trouble pronouncing it, and if asked to spell it cold, would be lost after the first few letters. But this is one of the words that Tayshaun Chickaway, a Kemper Academy sixth-grader, mastered at the MAIS Statewide Spelling Bee recently where he was the runner-up.
This was Chickaway's third straight year to compete having placed fifth as a fourth-grader, and as runner-up in his fifth-grade year.
He said that he was very disappointed to place second, but he is looking forward to competing again, as he has two more opportunities to win the first-place award. KA Headmistress Mary Ellen Waters added that the Academy competes in spelling bees through the eighth-grade.
Waters said that Chickaway is a very good student overall, and really gets involved in the school experience, whether it is a spelling bee, a reading fair, Halloween costumes or on the football field, where he is referred to as a 'gentle giant.'
It is not unexpected that Chickaway would excel at spelling as his mother was a champion speller, as well, and he added that spelling comes naturally for him, but he does spend time in study and preparation for a competition. He said that there were some nerves for the first two state competitions, but he had settled in and felt more at ease for the latest one.
He received ribbons for his second-place finishes, and said that he has started a collection that he hopes to add to, and his success has been a source of excitement and pride for his classmates and the entire school.
Chickaway also excels in archery having placed first in his age group this past year. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, and really enjoys being an only child.