8th-grade spellers represent Chicago area

Rose Sloan, 13, and Emily Temple-Wood, 14, are both eighth graders. Temple-Wood is from Downers Grove and Sloan is from River Forest.

Last week they both made it into the quarterfinals- and Sloan went on to the final four. She came in fourth overall.

"Even though more people were being eliminated I think I started to relax more because it was like I've gotten this far. I've just done really well," said Rose Sloan, Scripps Spelling Been finalist.

The two champs were sponsored by ComEd.

"Once I got through the third round it was easy. And Oh Hey! This is cool I got through. Everything else was just gravy," said Temple-Wood.

Sloan said her parents, Maurine, an attorney, and Bob, a college professor, are bad spellers. The same goes for Temple-Wood's folks, Laura and Andrew, who believe in spell-check. It was hard work for both girls- and all the others in the bee.

"It was four to six hours a day. Seven days a week… every week," said Sloan.

But it wasn't all hard work in Washington.

"There were several cute, nerdy guys. Ha, ha. Well, we're all nerds so I can say that," said Temple-Wood. "Well, if you make it to the Spelling Bee Nationals you're at least a partial nerd I guess."

Both girls received a $500 savings bond for their success.

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