Many adults would stumble if asked to spell the words stalactite or hierarchy.
But, not Forster Public School student, Maxim Ceccato.
The Year 5 student last month spelt his way to the finals of this year's Premier's Spelling Bee.
Maxim will travel to the ABC Building in Sydney in early November for the final event.
The 16th regional finals was this year hosted by Forster Public School
After winning their class and school competitions earlier in the year, 80 contestants from 20 schools nervously entered the stage of the school hall for the competition in either the junior or senior section.
Forster was represented by two, stage 2 stage students, Maxim and Lucas Guiney, who place second in the senior section.
For Maxim, the 2019 event was a repeat performance of last year, winning the regional final for a second year in succession after spelling his way through to the State finals in Sydney in 2018 as a Year 4 student.
This year, as one of the youngest students of this section, he went into the spell-off as the underdog facing the other Year 5-6 students.
Both Maxim and Lucas cruised through the first four rounds, mastering words like obsolete, delirious and catamaran.
Only nine of the original 40 contestants went into round five.
In the next two rounds, the boys had to spell words like stalactite and hierarchy.
At this point the source of the 1000 words of the known word list was exhausted and round seven began with only four remaining students on stage.
The unseen word list was now pulled out by the announcers and scorers of the panel.
In the last three deciding rounds, Maxim pushed through with the words conveyancing and feign, while Lucas had no trouble with the word sufferance, stumbled on pejorative, but won the duel against the third placed with literacy.
The Spelling Bee program started in 2004 and encourages all students to improve their vocabulary and spelling and it promotes literacy skills in combination with the English K-6 syllabus.
Nearly 170,000 students enrolled in last year's Spelling Bee, this was a new record number.
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