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Several area students to compete in national spelling bee

Published On: May 28 2013 12:33:59 PM EDT   Updated On: May 28 2013 02:01:08 PM EDT
Scripps Howard Spelling Bee

Scripps Howard Spelling Bee


Youngsters competing in this year's national spelling bee will have to know more than just how the words are spelled.

The 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee is underway in National Harbor, Maryland.

This year, the students will have to know what each word means in addition to how they are spelled.

The definition will count for 50 percent of the overall score ... and it will determine which contestants will move on to the semi finals and championship rounds.


Seventh grader Emily Gunkel from the Schuylkill Valley School District in Berks County is one of the 281 contestants.

Also competing are: 

Eighth grader Aditya Mohankumar Rao from Lopatcong Township Middle School, Lopatcong, N.J.;

Ashraya Ananthanarayanan, seventh grader from Spring-Ford Intermediate School in Royersford, Montgomery Co.;

Anna Tran, seventh grader from Strayer Middle School, Quakertown, Bucks Co. and

Colleen M. Reed, seventh grader from Saint Clair Area Middle School, Saint Clair, Schuylkill Co.

According to the spelling bee website, the spellers range in age from 8 to 14 years old, but 89% are between the ages of 12 and 14.

The preliminary rounds will be televised on ESPN Wednesday, semis on Thursday and finals on Friday.