April 9, 2014

MASON, OH – Two Mars Hill Academy students are headed to the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) National Spelling Bee, held in Dallas, TX on May 3. Mars Hill seventh grader Drew Deister of Cincinnati won the ACSI Ohio Valley Regional Spelling Bee for grades 5-8 in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, March 22, and sixth grader Kyle Chu of Cincinnati came in second. Mars Hill fifth grader Eileen Park placed sixth, and will serve as the alternate at the ACSI National Bee if any of the top five winners cannot compete.

MHA was also represented at the ACSI Regional Bee by ACSI District Bee winners Hannah Min of Mason (eighth grade) and Faith Min of Mason (sixth grade). The MHA team held weekly practices after school, and supported each other by studying together and taking advantage of time during the school day to drill each other from the word lists.

"I am thankful that God has given me this opportunity to go to the National Spelling Bee," said Chu. "We know it will be a huge challenge, so Drew and I are working hard together to get ready for the competition."

Deister agreed. "Working with Kyle and the other MHA district bee winners as a team really helped with regionals, and we will keep working together for nationals. So many people, especially our parents, inspired us and put in a lot of time helping us practice. At Mars Hill, we are taught to do everything to God's glory, so Kyle and I are excited to go to Dallas together and do our best to glorify the Lord."

Deister and Chu competed with 43 district bee winners for the regional title. Deister's winning word was labile, and Chu spelled laureate correctly to clinch second place in the Regional Bee.

ACSI is comprised of nearly 24,000 member Christian schools in 100 nations worldwide. The ACSI annually conducts spelling bees across the nation, culminating in a national contest held in May in Dallas, TX.

Photo: Drew Deister, seventh grade, Cincinnati and Kyle Chu, sixth grade, Cincinnati, took first and second place respectively in the ASCI Ohio River Valley Regional Spelling Bee and are headed to the ACSI National Spelling Bee May 3 in Dallas, TX