Five Northern Virginia students are showing off their spelling skills in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the preliminaries of which are underway Tuesday.
The 95th national competition that involves four segments — preliminaries, quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals — started off with 231 spellers. The students from NoVA are among 12 from Virginia.
- Ruby Kadera, 13, of Arlington
Kadera, a first-time National Spelling Bee competitor, is an eighth grader at Kenmore Middle School. Kadera is a member of the chorus and takes drum lessons outside of school.
- Luke DiMaso, 14, of Fredericksburg
DiMaso goes to St. William of York Catholic School. After the spelling bee, DiMaso plans to pursue chess competitively.
- Oviya Amalraj, 12, of Leesburg
Amalraj attends J. Michael Lunsford Middle School. Amalraj is a red belt in Taekwondo and wants to become an astrophysicist.
- Siya Sampath, 9, of Manassas
Sampath, a fourth grader at J.W. Alvey Elementary School, loves learning new languages and is learning kuchipudi, a classical dance style in India. At 9, she is among the youngest competitors.
- Charlotte Walsh, 14, of Merrifield
Walsh, who is schooled through the Compass Homeschool Enrichment program, is competing for her third time. In her free time, she volunteers for the food bank So Others Might Eat.
The preliminaries (until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday) and quarterfinals (8 a.m.to 1 p.m. Wednesday) will be ION Plus, while the semifinals and finals will be on ION from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
The champion stands to win a number of prizes, including a $50,000 cash prize from the Scripps National Spelling Bee and a $2,500 cash prize from Merriam-Webster.
The spelling bee is held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland’s National Harbor.
Feature image courtesy Facebook/Scripps National Spelling Bee
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