Hardin Park School sixth grader wins regional spelling bee, will compete in National Spelling Bee in May

Anna Muckenfuss, Appalachian Weekly News Producer

A Hardin Park School sixth-grader will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in May, after winning the 79th annual Winston-Salem Journal Regional Spelling Bee on March 24.

Sam Nystrom competed at the regional spelling bee for the first time when he was in fourth grade and was the runner-up for the Watauga County Schools district-wide spelling bee when he was in fifth grade.

Nystrom said his favorite word to spell is “blurb” because it is fun to say.

Anna Muckenfuss
Sam Nystrom, a Hardin Park sixth grader, will travel to Washington DC in May to compete in the National Spelling Bee after winning the regional spelling bee.

“I like the challenge of spelling things and like trying to figure out what it might mean and stuff, or how it’s spelled,” Nystrom said. “I read a lot, so I learn a lot of words through that.”

To prepare for the spelling bee, Nystrom said he uses a consolidated word list that he studies for 10-15 minutes each day.

Nystrom said his goal is to make it to the final round of the National Spelling Bee and win.

“It’s just been exciting to see him each time that he’s won a new level, it’s been a surprise,” said Jennifer Nystrom, Sam’s mother. “His goal is always just to make it to the national bee, and he achieved his goals.”

Sam Nystrom said his achievements will be fun to use when playing the game “two truths and a lie” with new people.

“I don’t know if there are any spelling bees beyond eighth grade, but I do want to continue spelling through them,” Sam Nystrom said.