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Missoula sixth grade student competing in Scripps National Spelling Bee

Cheyenne Wang from Missoula's Saint Joseph Elementary School is competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland this week
Cheyenne Wang
Posted at 2:26 PM, May 28, 2024

UPDATE:

It was an exciting day at the Scripps National Spelling Bee as Montana's champion made it to the quarterfinals.

12 -year-old Cheyenne Wang from Saint Joseph Elementary School in Missoula had to get through three rounds of spelling on Tuesday.

The quarterfinals begin Wednesday morning and can be watched on the ION channel.


More than 200 fourth grade through eighth grade students are preparing to face off in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland this week.

But they’re going to have to get past Montana’s spelling bee champion — 12-year-old old “word whiz” Cheyenne Wang from Missoula's Saint Joseph Elementary School.

“It's just fun to do and I think during this journey, it was exciting to see my growth throughout,” Cheyenne told MTN.

The sixth grade student won the Treasure State Spelling Bee last March thanks to her championship word: Furuncle. She’s now preparing for the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Cheyenne Wang
12-year-old old “word whiz” Cheyenne Wang from Missoula's Saint Joseph Elementary School won the Montana State Spelling Bee last March thanks to her championship word: Furuncle.

“I am really excited, but it’s also really nerve-wracking,” Cheyenne said, adding, “My mom and I would make a schedule first and she would help me summarize the definition because some of them are really long. And then I would look over them really carefully a couple of times and make sure I know the pronunciation. And then my parents would quiz me.”

“We will spend a half hour in the morning before breakfast working on those words. And then spend another half hour in the afternoon and before bed,” Cheyenne’s dad, Don Wang explained. “We call them fragment times, or fragment timepieces. It's a matter of how you use your time.”

Cheyenne’s teachers at St. Joseph Elementary School in Missoula describe the 4.0 student as poised and humble.

“She’s a hard worker. She always tries her best. She’s a great friend to all the kids in the classroom,” teacher Kari Stack told MTN. “To be honest, I'm not surprised that she won it [the Montana State Spelling Bee]. I was so happy for her that all her hard work and success had paid off.”

Kari Stack
Cheyenne’s teachers at St. Joseph Elementary School in Missoula, including Kari Stack, describe Cheyenne Wang as poised and humble.

When she’s not working on her words, Cheyenne plays the violin and piano. She loves art and orchestra.

Cheyenne says her goal for the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to make it to the quarter-finals. But she’s already a winner in the eyes of her family.

“They let me know that they’ll always be there for me. And even if I don’t win the next one, that I'm already a champion because I won previous rounds,” Cheyenne said. “So, that’s really helpful.”

Cheyenne has made it through the first two preliminary rounds where they are asked the definition of words. We'll continue to track her progress for you.


You can watch the Scripps National Spelling Bee semi-finals on Wednesday at 8 pm ET on the ION channel. Tune into ION for the live finals of the bee Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.

Scripps News is a subsidiary of the E.W. Scripps Company, which runs the Bee on a not-for-profit basis.