LAKELAND, Fla. - Thirteen-year-old Lee Wall from Lakeland Christian School finds happiness in a complicated calculus problem. It's just who he is.
"That is what he does for fun. That is his hobby," said his mom Sherri Wall.
But it's Lee's spelling abilities that are being recognized. Competing in The Scripps National Spelling Bee in our nation's capital is his reward for winning the Polk County regional bee
"The fact that I get to go to Washington for a week and participate in the Spelling Bee is just very cool and I grateful that I get to do it," said Lee
Make no mistake, during lunch time in a cafeteria full of middle school students, Lee can hold his own. When one student across the table asked how to spell cat, Lee just smiled, eventually saying c-a-t.
"There is a respect for my accomplishments. However, when it comes to intellectual discussion there's not exactly a good amount of that," Lee explained.
There's no doubt that Lee Wall is an intelligent student with a tremendous appetite for learning. But he does have one fear about performing at The Scripps National Spelling Bee."
"That I might not do well. Or that I may not perform at my best," he said.
Alexis Livesay is the spelling bee coordinator at Lakeland Christian and works with Lee as they prepare for The Scripps National Spelling Bee.
"He loves to read philosophy, mythology science. And the more you read, the larger your vocabulary," said Livesay.
Lee is hopeful that the words he's given play to his strengths.
"I'm good with Greek and Latin roots particularly, but when it comes to saying Arabic words, those are difficult for me. I'm hoping I wouldn't get an Arabic word," he said.
One word that Lee's familiar with is erudite.
"E-R-U-D-I-T-E," said a confident Lee.
"It means it's someone who loves learning for the sake of knowledge and learning," said Livesay.
A word that perfectly describes Lee Wall.