SUWANEE - "Idiopathy" is a disease for which no origin is known. It doesn't sound like something you'd want to have, but knowing how to spell it made 12-year-old Angela Mo winner of the District 3 Spelling Bee on Saturday at Collins Hill High School.
Mo, a seventh-grader at Creekland Middle School, seized her opportunity after Parker Ramey, a sixth-grader from C.W. Davis Middle School in Hall County, incorrectly spelled "euploid." Mo correctly spelled that word and bagged the district title by spelling "idiopathy."
"Sometimes I get really nervous but I just calm down and think about it," Mo said.
Heading into the eighth round of competition, four of the 10 Gwinnett County Public Schools students were still in the running before county spelling bee champion Asad Ladhani incorrectly spelled "annulus," which, according to one dictionary, is a ringlike figure, part, structure or marking.
Jack Goode of Osborne Middle School and Naveed Khan of Sweetwater Middle School bowed out in the 10th round, setting the stage for the showdown between Ramey and Mo. Goode misspelled "lousicide," a chemical for killing parasites, and Khan incorrectly spelled "tachygrapher," one who writes shorthand.
As the runner-up, Ramey will join Mo at the state spelling bee March 20 at Georgia State University. Third-place Khan, an eighth-grader at Sweetwater Middle School, will be the alternate.
Ramey and Mo both admitted to being a little nervous about the state championship but both said they are also excited. Mo will continue to dedicate about an hour a day to studying words and Ramey's father, Hank, will continue to quiz his son randomly from the most "obscure" words he can think of to the items on restaurant menus.
"My goal is to get to the nationals," Parker Ramey said.
To do that, all he has to do on March 20 is outlast 19 of Georgia's best spellers with the same vision.
SideBar: At A Glance
The 10 GCPS students who competed Saturday are listed below. Angela Mo will represent Gwinnett County in the state spelling bee and Naveed Khan will serve as an alternate.
· Angela Mo, Creekland Middle School, won on "idiopathy"
· Matthew Lewis, Richards Middle School, eliminated on "retrospective"
· Lucy Chuang, Chattahoochee Elementary, eliminated on "megapolis"
· Ryan Bhowmik, Camp Creek Elementary, eliminated on "ergonomic"
· Erin Gardner, Shiloh Middle School, eliminated on "extrinsic"
· Shefali Jain, Pinckneyville Middle School, eliminated on "mimosa"
· John Garrett, Snellville Middle School, eliminated on "causticity"
· Asad Ladhani, Lanier Middle School, eliminated on "annulus"
· Jack Goode, Osborne Middle School, eliminated on "lousicide"
· Naveed Khan, Sweetwater Middle School, eliminated on "tachygrapher"