February 13, 2020
Sixth grade student Kingston Czajkowski is on his way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee after coming in first place at the Capital Region Spelling Bee at Proctors in Schenectady on February 4.
His winning word was “ankh,” the Egyptian symbol, which also happens to be among his favorite words.
“I like words with silent letters,” said Kingston.
Even though he’s only in sixth grade, Kingston has been dominating school spelling bees for years.
“I’ve always loved spelling bees. I don’t know why,” Kingston said. “The trick is to study words and find patterns based in different languages.”
In third grade, he was the runner-up in the district spelling bee. In fourth grade, his first year of eligibility for the regional spelling bee, he came in first place in the district bee and represented Cairo-Durham in the regional competition as one of the youngest participants.
Kingston was crowned the district spelling champion again in 2019 and made his second appearance at the Capital Region Spelling Bee when he was in fifth grade. He came in second place at the regional level last year, which automatically qualified him for this year’s regional competition.
On February 4, 2020 Kingston out-spelled more than 100 students from regional schools to claim the title of Top Speller in the Capital Region.
In addition to winning an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Kingston was awarded a Merriam Webster Third New International Dictionary, a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online and a $200 check donated by the Times Union, according to the Daily Gazette.
“I’ve only been to Washington D.C. once when I was a really little kid so I don’t remember much,” shared Kingston. “I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of new cool things there and meeting new people.”
The 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee will take place May 24-29, 2020 and the final rounds will be televised on ESPN and ESPN2.