MARBLEHEAD — Will Robson won’t have much free time in the next few weeks.
The eighth grader at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers is spending most of his time on his iPad checking online dictionaries, learning the spelling, roots, and definitions of thousands of words.
Robson, 15, is one of 519 students nationwide from grades three through eight who will compete in 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee starting Sunday, May 27 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland. The finals are scheduled for Thursday, May 31.
“I’m spending an average of an hour or more a day studying,” he said. “It’s stressful, I have mixed feelings going from a little nervous to very excited. It’s not much fun now, but I think it will be lots of fun when I get to nationals.”
The champion will win a $40,000 cash prize and a trophy.
In March, Robson earned his way to the finals as champion of the 33rd Annual Daily Item Regional Spelling Bee just as his brother Mitchell Robson did from 2014 to 2016.
Thanks to co-sponsors Joel and Mary Abramson, owners of Flagship Travel of Marblehead, Robson and his mother’s airfare, accommodations, entry fees and $400 in spending money will be covered.
“The total donation is more than $5,000,” said Joel Abramson.”And it’s worth every penny.
Lena Robson, Will’s mother, said this will be their last time as parents of a spelling bee participant.
“We are extremely excited for Will to have this opportunity,” she said. “I don’t like handicapping it and don’t want to compare one son to the other. As we told him, just getting to the finals is the achievement we are most proud of him for, regardless of how he performs.”