Canada

Windsor, Ont., boy looks to better semi-final result at his 2nd straight Scripps spelling bee

Isaac Brogan is 12 years old and already has two regional spelling bee titles under his belt — as well as multiple trips to the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington, D.C.

Last year, he was the only Canadian to make it to the semi-finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee — something he hopes to build on this time around.

Brogan earned the right to compete at his second straight national bee by correctly spelling the word “netiquette,” during this past weekend’s regional competition.

“I felt more experienced [this year], but also like I felt the same amount of nervousness … I thankfully got over it,” he said. 

“It was just a really exciting time last year. I’m thankful that I can be a part of it again.” 

The Grade 6 student attends Maranatha Christian Academy in Windsor, Ont. 

WATCH | Isaac Brogan talks about spelling after winning his second straight regional bee:

Canadian boy looks to better semi-final result in 2nd straight Scripps spelling bee

Isaac Brogan is 12 years old and already has two regional spelling bee titles under his belt — as well as multiple trips to the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington, D.C. The Grade 6 student is from Windsor, Ont., and says spelling remains important despite spell check being so readily available.

According to Isaac’s mother Paulette, his interest in spelling comes from their family’s love for reading.

“Isaac’s been reading from a very young age, and I think that has a lot to do with it,” she said. 

“We started reading together and then little books he was able to do on his own, and then he just has a love of reading right now.”

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Isaac said he’s been studying roughly an hour each day leading up to the regional competition.

WATCH | Brogan headed to Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2023:

This 11-year-old spelling champ is heading to the Scripps National Spelling Bee

Isaac Brogan is off to Washington, D.C. for the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee after winning the Windsor-Essex, Ont. regional spelling bee.

The 96th Scripps National Spelling Bee runs at the end of May in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington, D.C.

And despite the electronic spell checkers available in most digital programs, Brogan said spelling still matters — a lot.

“One time I was trying to type up something for a speech thing that we were doing in our school. I was saying that many foundations are trying to make sports free and accessible to every family. But autocorrect kept on wanting me to say many foundations are trying to play sports free and accessible to every family. And I was like, ‘what?'”

There were 229 competitors at the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee, and Isaac Brogan was one of 56 to make it to the semi-finals of the competition (Mark Gollom/CBC)

It also bothers the elementary school student when he reads something that is misspelled or grammatically incorrect.

“It’s like, oh come one, you can do better.”

LISTEN | Isaac Brogan, 12, spells “Netiquette” to win regional bee, trip to Washington D.C.

Windsor Morning7:2312-year-old Isaac Brogan spells “Netiquette” to win regional bee, trip to Washington D.C.

The best spellers from our broadcast area were all together on one stage yesterday afternoon. And the best of them all turned out to be Isaac Brogan.

Paulette said watching Isaac at the spelling bees can be quite nerve-wracking. 

“Every time he goes up, my heart starts to beat really quickly. I just want him to do well because he’s studied so much and he put so much effort into it. At recess he’d be studying, sometimes reviewing his words and things like that.

“Whether he wins or he doesn’t, it doesn’t matter, because what he’s doing right now is preparing him for a lot of things in life.”

When not reading or working on his spelling, Brogan said he enjoys playing basketball and video games.

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