Karie Brand said her son has always been interested in creating new things. Mark Brand, the Davis County Clipper’s top speller heading to Washington, D.C., is looking forward to seeing the places he’s always read about and spending time at the Aerospace Museum. However, he’s also looking forward to the possibility of being on national television on May 28 at 7 p.m.
“No matter what happens there, I got there and I got to do it,” said Mark Brand.
Mark Brand won first place at the Davis County Clipper’s spelling bee in March after more than nine spell-off rounds. That win gave him the chance to head to Washington, D.C., with two other Utah students.
He has spent more hours studying from a preliminary list given by the Scripps National Spelling Bee committee and reading “How to Spell Like a Champ,” which gives tips and strategies.
“I’m learning objects and parts of speech in Spanish right now, and it’s cool to see similar roots,” said Mark Brand.
His first day will be spent completing a written test, then spelling at a preliminary round. After the first day, only 50 students with the top scores will be taken for the first round of the national bee. Those semifinals will be aired on May 28 at 8 a.m. on ESPN.
At home, some of his time has been taken by other activities. Mark Brand is a carrier for the Davis County Clipper and has been involved in Bountiful Junior High School’s production of “Singing in the Rain.”
He has taken part in moving props around, being in the choir and even being an actor in the movies from the musical.
Karie Brand said she is grateful her son has this opportunity. “I remember three years ago when Sydney King said, ‘We’re going to send someone to Washington, D.C. We’re going to find a sponsor and do this.’ Now it’s actually happened.”
The final bee will be aired on ABC May 28 at 7 p.m. Mark Brand’s championship at the Davis County level was aired on Davis Channel 17 and can be found online.