Grand Traverse teen has a spelling system

Charlie Donhue is getting ready to take on the country at the national spelling bee.

Charlie Donahue from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School in Grand Traverse County is on his way to Washington D.C. after winning the regional spelling bee on Sunday.

Donahue's winning word was minaret - which is a distinctive arichitectural feature of Islamic mosques.

Donahue says he hasn't always been a good speller, but has studied "really hard" to get to the regional competition. Donahue said he doesn't want to memorize the words, he wants to know how to construct words so that he can use that system in competition.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. is the next step for Donhue and he says he is hitting the books to make sure he's ready.

The National Spelling Bee is May 28th through May 30th.