2019 European Parent Teacher Association Regional Spelling Bee Champion Robert Louis Rasmussen III poses with his proud parents, Robert and Joanie Rasmussen, Feb. 23 at Ramstein Elementary School after securing a trip to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. (Courtesy photo)


By European Parent Teacher Association


GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The European Parent Teacher Association hosted the 37th annual EPTA Regional Spelling Bee Feb. 23 at Ramstein Elementary School on Ramstein Air Base.


The event featured 25 local spelling bee champions in grades 3-8 from Department of Defense Education Activity – Europe schools in Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom.


After 31 intense rounds of spelling hundreds of words, the 2019 EPTA Regional Spelling Bee championship went to Robert Louis Rasmussen III, a seventh-grade student at Netzaberg Middle School, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria.


This was Robert’s third appearance in the EPTA Regional Spelling Bee, representing Grafenwoehr Elementary School in 2017 and Netzaberg Middle School in 2018 and 2019. He clinched his victory by correctly spelling the word ‘quaff’.


Now he’ll be moving forward to compete against champion spellers from across the United States in the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 26-31 at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center outside Washington, D.C.


Robert is the second student from USAG Bavaria to move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee since 2016. Grafenwoehr Elementary School fifth-grader Ezra Scheuermann represented EPTA and DoDEA-Europe that year.


The garrison was also well-represented in this year’s Bee by fourth-grader Catalina Campos of Garmisch Elementary/Middle School, fourth-grader Madeline Sword of Grafenwoehr Elementary School, fourth-grader Khalista Abbey Talingdan of Hohenfels Elementary School, and fifth-grader Connor Knazovich of Netzaberg Elementary School. 


 “European PTA would like to congratulate this year’s EPTA Regional Spelling Bee Champion, Robert Rasmussen, on a job well done, and we can’t wait to follow his adventures at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May,” said EPTA Spelling Bee Chair Kris Garst. “All of the spellers in this year’s EPTA Regional Spelling Bee should be very proud of what they’ve achieved. These students worked hard to prepare for the European Bee, and that preparation showed when they approached the microphone. The competition was fierce, and they truly are the best of the best!”


In addition to his Champion’s medal, Robert will receive several prizes, including a 2019 U.S. Mint Proof Set, a one year subscription to Britannica Online Premium from Encyclopaedia Britannica, and a Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (Eleventh Edition). Robert will also receive travel and lodging expenses from European PTA for himself and a parent or guardian at the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee and a one year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online. 


That online dictionary subscription will come in handy, because that’s his study list for the national competition.

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