Douglas speller wins fifth at state bee |

Douglas speller wins fifth at state bee

Carson Valley Middle school eighth-grader Ruby Jacobsen’s strongest subject is English, which she believes gives her an edge in spelling bee competitions.

Jacobsen took fifth place at the Nevada State Spelling Bee competition at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas on March 17 against about 40 students across the state ranging in grades fifth through eighth.

“At first, it’s definitely nerve racking, but at this point I try to focus on just the word,” said Jacobsen.

She said competitors are given a list of words to study which judges use during the competition.

Jacobsen recalls her easiest word was alpaca and her hardest was phenomenon, which was the word that beat her in Las Vegas.

“I think they start off easy and than gradually get harder,” she said.

Jacobesen began competing in spelling bees in sixth grade after friends told her to try out. After winning second place in the county that year, she decided to step up the competition.

“That first time was fun to compete in and that’s when I learned about the benefits and opportunities of competing and decided I wanted to take it more seriously,” she said.

Jacobsen went on to win the county bee two years in a row before going to state this year.

“I like the level of competition of it,” she said. “It has taught me if I set my mind to something I can accomplish anything.”

This was her last year competing in the spelling bee competitions, but she plans to pursue similar tournaments when she goes on to Douglas High School next year, such as speech and debate.

“I enjoy the competitiveness in these kind of activities and I want to continue doing something like it,” she said.

Jacobesen’s father, Bigg Jacobsen, is not only proud of his daughter’s accomplishments, but he wanted also to thank the community for their support. He said many contributed in making sure Ruby was able to reach her goals and travel, specifically CoComoes Q Catering.

“They donated a significant amount toward our expenses in traveling to Las Vegas and I just wanted to make sure they were recognized and that we are appreciative of their support, along with many others who helped us,” he said. “This was really important for my daughter and a big deal for her and we’re thankful to all who helped us get her there to compete. If it wasn’t for them, we probably couldn’t have gotten her there.”

The Nevada State Spelling Bee program challenges fifth through eighth grade students to improve their spelling, increase their vocabulary, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them in many life endeavors. For more information visit