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Chesco Spelling Bee Winner a Paoli Student

A Saint Norbert middle schooler spells some tough words to win a place in the national spelling bee.

A seventh-grade student from St. Norbert's School in Paoli is heading to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington after winning the Chester County Bee on Friday.

Jacob George won the competition held Friday in Downingtown by correctly spelling "bandicoot"which the Merriam-Webster Dictionary site defines as:  

1: any of several very large rats (genera Bandicota and Nesokia) of southern Asia destructive to crops 2 : any of various small chiefly insectivorous and herbivorous marsupial mammals (family Peramelidae or family Peroryctidae) of Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea

Jacob has until late May to prepare for the national competition which is held in Washington, DC.

How Jacob is preparing for national competition.

He's studying by reading the dictionary he won at the Chester County bee. "It weighs about five pounds!" One classmate told Patch.

Jacob has a lot of support from his entire school. To celebrate his county bee victory, about 70 students from several grades formed a conga line and danced through classrooms with one student carrying Jacob's brand-new five pound dictionary to lead the way.

Jacob's friends are behind him all the way. "He's a great friend and an amazing student," declared Thomas, a sixth grade friend and spelling fan. "He's a really good speller," 7th grade classmate Brenden added during a conversation with Patch at the school's U.S. History Night Monday. Several friends call the 12-year-old spelling ace "a walking dictionary."

Jacob's mother says her son has always been in interested in spelling and words. "He likes words and reads a lot," she told Patch. Zeena George describes herself as a "coach" when it comes to helping Jacob study. "I try to teach him the word origin, that's a big secret to (his spelling bee) success."

Jacob, who says there's no television in his family's house doesn't spend all his time studying. He's very involved with two ice hockey teams.  With the national spelling bee looming in May Jacob says he'll probably switch his word study routine from 45 minutes several days a week to about 30 minutes of study every day. He's got a plan, and his work cut out for him. As of Monday night Jacob reported he was "still in the A's" in his new dictionary. 

His friends have no doubt Jacob will have the spelling bee words covered from "A to Z" by the time he heads to Washington for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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