Iann Leigh, an eighth-grader at James F. Doughty School in Bangor, Maine, remained humble even though his winning word at the Penobscot County Spelling Bee was “braggadocio.” He said he was excited to win and earn a trip to the national finals. He competed with 34 other spellers in the four-hour-long contest at Husson University.
Brady Hughes is the Cass County Spelling Bee champion. Brady is a sixth-grader in the Pleasant Hill School District. After 12 rounds of words, he spelled “lithe” to win. He has luck on his side, coming from Peculiar, Missouri, where the town motto is, "Where the 'odds' are with you."
Photo credit: Raymore-Peculiar School District
Vasundara Govindarajan, an eighth-grader at Frank C. Martin International K-8 Center in southwest Miami-Dade, Florida, is enjoying her fourth consecutive win in the Miami-Dade Bee. This year, she won in the 12th round, with “escadrille.” She says she's read the dictionary cover to cover. She was inspired by her brother, who competed twice in the national finals.
Photo credit: Pedro Portal, Miami Herald
Jashun Paluru of Battle Ground Middle School in West Lafayette, Indiana, won his third straight title when he correctly spelled "portulaca" in the finals of the Administrator Assistance regional bee. The eighth-grader was a strong competitor in his first two appearances on the national stage, finishing 10th in 2016 and 12th in 2017.
Photo credit: Mark Bowen, Scripps National Spelling Bee
Alan Chavez, an eighth-grader at Tatum Middle School will always have the honor of being the first to win the inaugural East Texas Spelling Bee sponsored by The Light and Champion. He received only cheers for his winning word: “condolences.” There were 22 total spellers in the verbal finale.
Photo credit: The Light and Champion
Atman Balakrishnan, a sixth-grader at Hinsdale Middle School, has the support of his parents and a study buddy in his little brother to encourage him as he heads to the national finals. The Chicago student won the DuPage County competition by correctly spelling "portulaca." His father, Dr. Balu Natarajan, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 1985.
Photo credit: DuPage County Regional Office of Education
After 23 rounds and nearly 200 words, Bristol High School eighth-grader Isabella Pinto was crowned the top speller at the 27th annual Tribune Chronicle Spelling Bee when she correctly spelled “witloof.” Kent State University at Trumbull served as the host, and pledged scholarship money to the top performing finalists.
Photo credit: Tribune Chronicle
Emily Fouts, an eighth-grader at Vera C. O’Leary Middle School in Twin Falls, Idaho, is ready for her grand adventure to the nation's capital. She won the fourth annual Times-News regional spelling bee when she spelled “isinglass.” It was a word she knew well thanks to plenty of preparation. It will be her first trip outside of her state.
Photo credit: Alison Gene Smith, Times-News/magicvalley.com
In Kern County, California, the spelling bee program reached more than 60,000 students and narrowed down to just one — Sydney Cho, a 13-year-old from Norris Middle School. After nearly four hours of fierce competition, Sydney spelled "polities" correctly to win a trip to the national finals, courtesy of the program's sponsor, KERO Channel 23.
Photo credit: KERO 23 ABC News
Paul Hamrick admitted that this year's Countywide Spelling Bee in Monterey, California, was more difficult than his win in 2017. With the most students competing, the 23-round event was the competition's longest. Paul, an eighth-grade homeschool student, correctly spelled "controversy" to earn a return trip to the national finals.