June 4, 2004
Tying for sixth place in the national spelling bee sent Scottsdale’s Maddy Kloss and her family "over the moon."
"We’re all beaming," said the 14-year-old incoming Arcadia High School freshman’s mother Suanne Rudley, from their Washington, D.C., motel room. "Tremendously proud. "
Many in Scottsdale echoed the sentiment, as people crowded in front of TV sets to watch the mildmannered redhead spell her way through the first seven rounds.
"Every time she spelled a word, my phone rang," said Tom Herrmann, spokesman for the Scottsdale Unified School District, whose office was crammed with 15 excited employees watching the bee live on ESPN2 and ESPN.
In round eight, she added an extra "e" at the end of "mouchoir," which is a French word for handkerchief.
That was the moment close family friends Valerie Iverson and Joan Agostinelli watched with bated breath.
"You’re hanging there on each letter," Iverson said later, adding that her 8- and 10-yearold sons were rooting for Maddy.
The Kloss family heads next to New York City where they will vacation until June 10.
Sixth place winners receive a $1,000 prize. Kloss also received a Scripps National Spelling Bee commemorative watch, a "spelling ace" T-shirt, an electronic dictionary and thesaurus from Franklin Electronic Publishers and a $20 gift certificate from Franklin.com. Kloss also receives the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, which is a $100 savings bond.