In the first year for the Maryland Sports Spelling Bee, Storrie Kulynych-Irvin, a home-schooled student, outlasted 23 other students from five counties and Annapolis to win. Her championship word was "patel." She said her interest in spelling originated with the fun she had with spelling tests. Now, she's on her way to the national finals.
A misspelled word in 2017 was all the motivation Mira Yu, a seventh-grader at Boston Latin School, needed to study and prepare for this year's Boston Centers for Youth and Families citywide spelling bee. Her younger sister helped her study pronunciations and roots. Mira proudly hoisted the first-place trophy after spelling "cacophony" for the win.
Photo credit: John Wilcox, Boston Herald
Calvin Alexander, a seventh grader from Caddo Middle Magnet in Shreveport, Louisiana, is the champion for the second consecutive year of the Northwest Louisiana regional spelling bee, sponsored by Louisiana State University and KTBS-TV. His winning word was “nectarivorous.” The competition involved 22 spellers from 28 regions, and it lasted 20 rounds.
Photo credit: KTBS 3 On Your Side
The 30th annual Links, Inc./The Times-Picayune Spelling Bee in New Orleans came down to an impressive and dramatic conclusion. Thomas Gross III of LaPLace Elementary won with "tritium" after 25 rounds of words just between the last two spellers. The appreciative crowd gasped in disbelief over the difficulty of some words during the 40-round competition.
Photo credit: Dinah L. Rogers, NOLA.com
Persistence paid off for Maya Jyothinagaram, an eighth-grader from Maroa-Forsyth Middle School in Decatur, Illinois, when she won the Central Illinois regional spelling bee on her fifth time competing in the event and after years of studying. Her winning word was "agave" in the 17th round.
Photo credit: Clay Jackson, Herald & Review
It was fitting for an eighth-grader from St. Patrick School in Terre Haute, Indiana, to win the Tribune-Star Wabash Valley Regional Spelling Bee on St. Patrick's Day. Eleanor Gallagher squared off with 23 other students from Wabash Valley elementary and middle schools before spelling the championship word for a musical instrument she recognized, "spinet."
Photo credit: Joseph C. Garza, Tribune-Star
Joseph Moran, a sixth-grader from North Idaho Home Educators Association, won the 15th annual North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee. Joseph is the returning champion for his region that includes 40 schools across North Idaho. The event lasted 26 rounds and Joseph won by correctly spelling "arachnid" and "surveillance."
Photo credit: North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee
Savannah Huber, a student at Challenger School in Meridian, Idaho, had a different kind of strategy before the Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee. She didn't study. After coming in sixth place last year with studying, she didn't want to get her hopes up for this year. She won with "deity."
Photo credit: KIVI 6 On Your Side
Amith Vasantha, a seventh-grader from BASIS Independent Silicon Valley School in San Jose, California, received an enthusiastic send-off from his classmates as he embarked on the KPIX-TV/CBS Bay Area Spelling Bee regional finals. The cheers continued as Amith won when he successfully spelled “clogwyn.”
Photo credit: KPIX-TV
Nehem Felices, an eighth-grader at Landisville Middle School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was just trying to improve on his 2017 performance of third place. He was shocked and bewildered when he won the 60th Annual LNP Spelling Bee by correctly spelling "kiloton." He and his family are now making plans for the unexpected trip to the nation's capital.
Photo credit: Suzette Wenger, Lancaster Online