Ask John Adamson to spell a word in English or Spanish and there’s a good chance that he can do it. A Turlock resident and 9th grader enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program at Modesto High School, Adamson already has plenty of spelling bee experience under his belt, including the Central Valley Dual Language Consortium Spelling Bee and the 2014 National Spanish Spelling Bee.
Just this past summer, Adamson traveled approximately 11 hours to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the 2014 National Spanish Spelling Bee. The competition, for students in grades 4th through 8th, challenges each participant to correctly spell a selection drawn from a total of nearly 2,000 words.
Adamson noted that he knew exactly what word he misspelled as he was spelling it, however, it was too late to correct it at the time. Despite this, Adamson still earned 5th placed out of a total of 23 participants.
“It’s kind of nerve-wracking because you’re sitting on stage in front of everybody and people you know are getting out,” said Adamson. “I was just waiting there hoping I wouldn’t get it wrong.”
Adamson has also made an impression when it comes to regional spelling bees, specifically the Central Valley Dual Consortium Spelling Bee which takes place at California State University, Stanislaus each year. Adamson took first place in the two years he competed.
“I was slightly more nervous the second time because even though I had the experience, I had to defend my title,” Adamson joked.
When Adamson is not spelling, he is involved in a variety of other activities at his school, including participating in sports and clubs.
Adamson is part of the school’s Panthers for the Cure club and hopes to join the boys volleyball league, both of which benefit cancer research. Additionally, he has also found a passion within the school’s Speech and Debate Club.
“I like talking and apparently I’m pretty good at it,” said Adamson. “It’s fun to just go out there and talk and have people listen to what you have to say.”
When it comes to the future, Adamson has big plans that revolve around his own academic achievement throughout his duration in high school.
“I want to get a diploma in this program, pass all my tests, and get a scholarship to a really good college,” said Adamson, “and then I guess I will see where life takes me from there.”