For the first time, a Northern Neck student will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee

NNK Spelling Bee Trey Felton.jpg
Posted at 11:31 AM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 11:31:17-04

HEATHSVILLE, Va. — Every year, millions of students from all over the country participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

This is the first time a student from Virginia’s Northern Neck region has qualified.

Trey Felton III from Northumberland County was the winner of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Spelling Bee.

The 13-year-old admits he’d rather be playing video games or playing basketball than studying, but knows he has to buckle down and get to it to have a chance at winning.


"It's like in basketball when you get tired," described Trey. “You don't have enough energy to keep going, but you have to keep going.”

Trey's dad, a teacher at Northumberland Middle School, said the first time Trey tried to qualify was back in the fifth grade.

"When we were leaving that day, he told me that he was going to come back and win it," recalled Willard Felton.

NNK Spelling Bee Trey Felton Dad .jpg
Willard Felton

Trey's dedication is inspired by the late Kobe Bryant's "mamba mentality." But he said what helps him during spelling competitions is his photographic memory, and he can visualize words before spelling them out.

He visualized being among the other students competing for the big prize.

He's building his confidence, building his vocabulary and joining his competition... in Building Better Minds.

You can read more about Trey and the 10 other Virginia participants by clicking here.

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