I can remember the day I signed up for the spelling bee. Mrs. Deluzio came to my class room announcing that we were having a spelling bee at the school. Once I saw the poster I was excited to sign up because I knew I was very good at spelling. I was so excited to be in the spelling bee and I told with my friend Jalan who told me he also signed up for the spelling bee. This was exciting news because I knew I had a friend to study with.

Once we got into the swing of studying it turned into a challenge to see which one of us would win. We continued to study together because we knew we could push each other in the end. I can remember the first word we couldn’t spell; the word was “adequate” we both were kind of upset because we had been studying for a long time. Eventually we laughed it off and moved on.

A month later the spelling bee came, I was so nervous I felt like I couldn’t do it. Then it was time I spelled my first word right, Jalan also spelled his first word right. We went on round after round. As we continued I was nervous and anxious at the same time because I wanted to win. It felt like a million eyes was on me, and then I spelled my last two words wrong. I was angry with myself for the remainder of the day.

A few weeks later, we got the bad news that Jalan passed away, it had hurt me a little because I met him this year and he was a very cool person to be around. When I found out the bad news I was down and thinking about him. Shortly after he passed away I attended his funeral, I couldn’t stand to be there knowing that I wouldn’t see him again. As I sat there and listened to the speeches and performances I cried because I didn’t know him long enough before his death. Every day since Jalan’s death I felt like school wouldn’t be the same without hearing him say wassup to me every day.

After Jalan passed away I found out from Mrs. D that we were having a Regional Spelling Bee this year and it was going to be named after him. Each school participating was sending there top two winners and I although I came in 3rdI could represent our school since Jalan passed away and he won in the high school division. Everyday after that I studied hard to win first place so that I could honor my friend.

Winning the spelling bee means a lot to me because when I signed originally signed up it was me and Jalan. We always talked about who was going to win and he managed to win 1st and I came in 3rd. place. At the end of the day I got an opportunity to represent my friend, I was there in his place so to win it showed everybody that Jalan is always going to be with us forever. It was an honor to win 1st place in the very first Jalan White Regional Spelling Bee and I will always remember the honor I was given to show up in place of Jalan because he was a close friend.

A Personal Account from the High School Champion