Rochester 8th grader wins SE MN spelling Bee - Heading to nationals

Samantha Boring
Created: March 31, 2021 07:10 AM

(ABC 6 NEWS) - A local 8th grader recently won the Southeast Minnesota Spelling Bee and now he will head to the 93rd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee this summer. 

Isaac Ahn was meant to be in the spelling bee. 

"I've enjoyed spelling since I was pretty young," said Isaac. 

His mom Sharon Ahn said he's always had a love for words. 

When his family moved to Rochester they found a Spelling Bee at Schaeffer Academy that Isaac could compete in. 

Last year he made it to the district level coming in as 1st runner up, but he still wanted to achieve more. 

His parents helped him each night by testing his spelling. 

"Preparing is on his shoulders and we just call out the words to help him practice cause it is really hard to practice by yourself," said Sharon. 

Isaac was finally able to reach his goal of winning the local Spelling Bee to head to Nationals. 

"Last year I came so close and this year I really wanted to make it so I felt really relieved and accomplished now that I'm finally going to get to go," said Isaac. 

He won with the word 'Environs" and will take part in the virtual 93rd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee starting in June. 

"The first couple of rounds it's going to be from the same list that we have been studying already, but then for the rounds after that the entire Merriam Webster Dictionary is in play," said Isaac. 

He's got a lot of studying to do all while keeping up with his busy life of playing competitive golf, basketball, singing in Honors Choir, spending time with his family, and just being a kid. 

His mom said they are proud of him. 

"Seeing him not just the winning, its how much work he put into it, the discipline he learned and just the mental fortitude to get through the competition," She added, "I told him we are already so proud of you for the work that you have put in the rest whatever place he comes in is just icing on the cake," said Sharon. 

Sharon said from seeing Isaac compete in sports to the Bee, this competition can give a parent a lot of anxiety. 

"Spelling Bee takes the cake, just every letter is sudden death," said Sharon

Isaac hopes he can make it to the final round of the bee, bringing his parent's support and all of his hard work with him.

"When you study these words you learn so much, these words there is just so much meaning behind them you never would have thought was there," said Isaac. 

There will be multiple rounds this summer for the National Bee that will be virtual. 

They will pick 12 finalists and if Isaac makes it there he will get to compete in person at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Florida for the final round. 


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