In her busy schedule, somehow Delaney Mitchell found time to study for the Gazette-Mail Regional Spelling Bee in Charleston, West Virginia. The eighth-grader from Beckley-Stratton Middle School has been dreaming of making it to the national finals since the fourth grade. In addition to being a spelling champ, she is editor of the school newspaper and co-captain of the cross country team.
Augusta County seventh-grader Finn Irving has watched the Scripps National Spelling Bee on TV for years, and never thought he would be on that stage. After spelling "rendezvous," he earned the trip to D.C. as the winner of The Daily Progress Regional Spelling Bee in Charlottesville, Virginia. Finn also likes playing baseball and basketball, and enjoys a good book.
Photo credit: Jacob Chang-Rascle, The Daily Progress
Veena Namboodiri, eighth-grader at South Texas Preparatory Academy in Edinburg, Texas, calmly asked her questions for her championship word, "transmittal." After scribbling the letters on the table, she spelled it correctly to the judges to win the Rio Grande Valley 30th Annual Regional Spelling Bee. She said her sister was a big help in studying every night.
Photo credit: Valley Morning Star
Jeff Zheng, a student at Ascension Academy in Amarillo, Texas, is returning to the national finals after a hotly contested regional bee sponsored by the Amarillo Globe-News. Only 15 students were in the final competition and they went through 196 words and lasted 46 rounds. Jeff won by correctly spelling "attachment."
Photo credit: Amarillo Globe-News
On his third try in a regional bee, Connor Bevan ended the West Tennessee Regional Spelling Bee the way he hoped — as champion. The Lakewood Middle School student took deep breaths to calm his nerves before each word including his winning one, "pilferage." The regional competition in Jackson, Tennessee, is sponsored by Union University,
Photo credit: Morgan Timms, The Jackson Sun
After 24 rounds and over 200 words, Perry Heights Middle School student Swathi Menon was crowned the Tri-State Spelling Bee champion in Evansville, Indiana. She says taking part in the event last year helped her prepare to win this year. She said, "Just like the adrenaline and the rush of energy, it's great; I'm really excited."
Photo credit: WFIE 14 News
It was a head-to-head battle for 21 rounds before eighth-grader Winston Zuo claimed the 55th annual Orange County Spelling Bee title in California. With it, the Fairmont Private Schools student will return to the national finals for the second time. He spelled "teff" correctly and after the competition said, “It’s a really euphoric feeling.”
Photo credit: Orange County Department of Education
Langley Vernon, an eighth-grader from Riverside Middle School in Pendleton, South Carolina, will once again represent her community after winning the regional event. She won a return trip to the national finals in the 18th round when she correctly spelled "gopak."
Photo credit: Ken Ruinard, Independent Mail
Madison Fickinger didn't really enjoy the attention on stage during The Republican-Herald’s 63rd annual bee, but she didn't let that stop her from winning. The Williams Valley Elementary sixth-grader proved the best of 48 spellers from the Pottsville, Pennsylvania, area when she spelled “marinade.”
Photo credit: David McKeown, The Republican Herald
Two letters and then a pause proved to be the winning tempo for Shawn Terrado as she won the Central Oklahoma Bee, sponsored by The Oklahoman. The Elgin Middle School student had to outspell 39 others through 26 rounds before getting her championship word — “unsuitable.”