PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - "Agoraphobia. It means basically a fear of outside places or fear of the market place." Agoraphobia is the word 7th grader Brian Reinhart spelled correctly to win this trophy at the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee competition in Boca Raton.
Brian said, "I hadn't studied that much to be honest and I read a lot which helps because I know a lot of words, but honestly it was mostly luck."
Brian will be competing against hundreds of kids from across the country in Washington, D.C. next month. "Since I won, we went on the National Spelling Bee web site and have been studying the lists from there, so yeah, I've been doing much more studying, " he says.
Joan Levit, his English teacher at The Weiss School in Palm Beach Gardens, helps him prepare. The secret to winning? The root of the word. Levit said, "Very often students are familiar with certain Latin Greek endings, however there are languages that have come into our English and very often their endings are not familiar so we go over the different types of endings and sounds."
When Brian is not spelling, he is excelling in math, taking advanced classes. He is a teen beyond his years. Brian said, "Honestly if you just keep trying to do what you really like to do, sometimes you will succeed in areas that you don't expect."
The 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee is May 28-30.