Eight Missouri students competing in Scripps National Spelling Bee

Eight students from Missouri have qualified for the Scripps National Spelling Bee the week of Memorial Day. The students, ranging from 6th to 8th grade, will be among 234 kids vying for the title of best speller in the nation.

The Missouri spellers are as follows: 

  • Antonia Antov from Pleasant Hill Middle School
  • Mya Maijala from Doniphan Middle School
  • Makayla McGuire from Savannah Middle School
  • Ben Rozema from Rolla Middle School
  • Yash Shelar from Academy of the Sacred Heart
  • Aanya Shetty from John Warner Middle School
  • Kaiwen Soo from Plaza Middle School
  • Brook Stewart from St. Elizabeth Middle School

The spellers earned their spots in the national competition by winning their regional spelling bee. The students will compete against spellers representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense schools in Europe, according to the Scripps website. The Bahamas, Canada, Germany and Ghana also will be represented in the bee.

The competition will be May 31 to June 2, with semifinal and final rounds televised on ION and Bounce, Scripps’ free over-the-air television networks, after years of being on subscription cable network ESPN.

The first round of competition, the preliminaries, consists of three rounds for each speller. Students have to spell a word correctly in the first round, then answer a multiple choice question on a word’s meaning in the second round, and finally spell another word correctly before they can move on to the quarterfinals. 

After taking place in Florida last year, the Bee is moving to National Harbor, Maryland near Washington, D.C., for its second year back after being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. 

In addition to being awarded the Scripps Cup, the winning speller will receive a $50,000 cash prize and a commemorative medal.

The eight Missouri hopefuls will vie to become the fifth winner from the Show-Me State, and the first since 2015.

A full list of the participants can be found at https://spellingbee.com/meet-the-spellers

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