Christopher Serrao is heading to Washington, D.C., for the third time. The first was watching his sister compete. The next two he earned a spot in the national finals by winning the Discover Lehigh Valley Regional Spelling Bee in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The 11-year-old Readington Middle School student correctly spelled "kiddush" and "eland" to secure his second regional win.
Evan Bishir, a fifth-grader at Park Elementary School in Fairmount, Indiana, is looking forward to his first visit to Washington, D.C. He is advancing to the national finals after a relatively short competition with 70 fellow students at the Indiana Wesleyan University Spelling Bee. His final two words were "poinsettia" and "charlatan."
Photo credit: Jeff Morehead, Chronicle Tribune
Koleton Briecke, an eighth-grader at Minisink Valley Middle School in Middletown, New York, gave his Mom/coach a big hug after winning the Orange County regional spelling bee. His winning word was "reconcilable." Koleton said the secret to being a good speller is reading. His entire family plans to make the trip to the national finals.
Riya Joshi, a seventh-grader at Whitney Young Magnet High School's Academic Center, defended her title in the Chicago Public Schools Citywide Spelling Bee. All school bee winners in the area took an online assessment to determine the final 50 students who would participate in the onstage competition.
Photo credit: Chicago Public Schools
Sharanya Chatterjee, a sixth-grader from Hunter’s Creek Middle School in Orange County, Florida, was a first-timer at the Orlando Sentinel's 57th annual spelling bee. She clinched her victory by correctly spelling “Hanoverian.” She and her family moved to the United States from the United Kingdom three years ago. She is also quite the musician. She plays four instruments.
Photo credit: Orlando Sentinel
Torah Smith, a home-schooled student from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, stood at the microphone in disbelief when the pronouncer spoke her championship word. She didn't know it. She asked for all the clues and then correctly spelled "kiddush." She raised her arms in celebration as the crowd erupted in applause. She defended her regional title and will return to the national finals.
Photo credit: Sentinel & Enterprise
Allison Jones, a seventh-grader at Orleans Schools in Indiana, emerged from a field of 21 spellers to take championship honors at the Orange County Publishing Company's Great Spelling Bee. Her two final words were "newfangled" and "carnivore." An enthusiastic crowd cheered for the participants recognizing the hard work that went into reaching this level.
The Kane County Spelling Bee came down to a battle between two fifth-graders. Pranav Kollu from Cambridge Lakes Charter School in Pingree Grove, Illinois, won the title and the trip to the national finals with "degage." Pranav said he paid particular attention to the word origins, during his studies, because that knowledge helped him spell correctly.
Photo credit: Sandy Bressner, Northwest Herald
Neel Iyer, an eighth-grader from East Side Middle School in Manhattan, was the superior speller in the Daily News Annual Spelling Bee. He competed against 70 students from all five boroughs in New York City. His winning word was “rheology.” This was the 54th year for the event sponsored by the city newspaper.
Photo credit: Susan Watts, New York Daily News
After forty rounds, Oakridge Middle School seventh-grader Bharath Ram improved his second-place finish from 2017 to win the Collier County district spelling bee. He earned the trophy and the trip to the national finals with “fortification.” He said spelling is important to him, but he wasn't able to study much because of a different academic competition. That will change for nationals.