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Meet the Homeschoolers in the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee

The 91st Scripps Annual National Spelling Bee will air live on May 29-31, 2018, from the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The Finals will start at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 31, with the Continuing Finals occurring at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 31.

More than 11 million students participated in classroom and school bees before advancing to local bees coordinated by newspapers, community organizations, and universities. The winners of these bees will take part in the National Finals.

Since 1925, youth across America have participated in school, local and regional bees with the hope of making it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The National Spelling Bee is open to contestants who haven’t yet passed the eighth grade.

This year 519 spellers are participating, the most in the history of the competition, including 25 homeschoolers! See their profiles below:


Enya V. Hubers, Speller No. 15
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Sponsor: Hubers Home School
School: Hubers Home School
Age: 12
Grade: 7th
Enya previously competed in 2017 (tied for 23rd place).
Favorite Food: Mint chocolate chip ice cream
Favorite TV Show: Zumbo’s Just Desserts
Favorite Historical Figure: Marie Curie


Paul Hamrick, Speller No. 72
Monterey, California
Sponsor: Monterey County Office of Education
School: Lambert Hamrick Homeschool
Age: 14
Grade: 8th
Paul previously competed in 2017 (tied for 35th place).
Favorite Author: Anthony Horowitz
Favorite Sport: Bowling
Favorite Movie: Black Panther


Daniel Doudna, Speller No. 91
Fairbanks, Alaska

Sponsor: Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
School: IDEA Homeschool
Age: 14
Grade: 8th
Daniel previously competed in 2017 (tied for 41st place).
Favorite Food: Smoked salmon
Favorite Sport: Baseball
Favorite Subject: Science


Caroline Otto, Speller No. 108
Baileyville, Illinois

Sponsor: Carroll/JoDaviess/Stephenson Regional Office of Education
School: Otto Family Homeschool
Age: 13
Grade: 8th
Favorite Book: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Favorite Movie: The Greatest Showman
Favorite TV Show: Doctor Who


Ashley DeVore, Speller No. 109
Lexington, Kentucky

Sponsor: Scripps Howard First Amendment Center
School: Homeschool
Age: 13
Grade: 8th
Favorite Sport: Ballet
Favorite Movie: Charade
Favorite Historical Figure: Corrie ten Boom


Joseph Moran, Speller No. 120
Hayden, Idaho
Sponsor: Coeur d’Alene Press
School: North Idaho Home Educator’s Association
Age: 11
Grade: 6th
Joseph previously competed in 2017 (tied for 41st place).
Favorite Author: C.S. Lewis
Favorite Subject: Math
Favorite Historical Figure: Abraham Lincoln


Daniel Healy, Speller No. 145
Port Byron, Illinois

Sponsor: The Dispatch Argus
School:
Healy Homeschool
Age: 12
Grade: 6th
Daniel previously competed in 2017 (tied for 189th place).
Favorite Author: Christopher Paolini
Favorite Food: Chicken Alfredo
Favorite Subject: Science


Marisa Langley, Speller No. 171
Tallahassee, Florida

Sponsor: Leon County Home Schoolers
School: Leon County Home Schoolers
Age: 14
Grade: 8th
Marisa previously competed in 2017 (tied for 41st place).
Favorite Book: Mutiny on the Bounty
Favorite Sport: Baseball
Favorite Subject: Math


Wolfgang Schaff, Speller No. 176
Kerrville, Texas

Sponsor: Schaff Family Homeschool
School: Schaff Family Homeschool
Age: 10
Grade: 4th
Favorite Movie: The Pirates of Penzance
Favorite Song: “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” by John Denver
Favorite Historical Figure: John Muir


Caroline Spivey, Speller No. 184
Millen, Georgia

Sponsor: Spivey Homeschool
School: Spivey Homeschool
Age: 13
Grade: 7th
Favorite Book: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Favorite Sport: Ballet
Favorite Historical Figure: Noah Webster


Storrie Kulynych-Irvin, Speller No. 196
Annapolis, Maryland

Sponsor: Maryland Sports
School: Homeschool
Age: 13
Grade: 8th
Storrie previously competed in 2016 (tied for 46th place) and 2017 (tied for 41st place).
Favorite Author: The staff writers at The New York
Favorite Food: Bananas and peanut butter
Favorite Sport: Swimming and cross country


Colin Aponte, Speller No. 205
Blue Hill, Maine

Sponsor: Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
School: Downeast Homeschool Co-op
Age: 13
Grade: 8th
Favorite Book: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Favorite Food: Steak tartare
Favorite Subject: Chinese


Lauren Holsapple, Speller No. 235
Jefferson City, Missouri

Sponsor: Columbia Missourian
School: Mid-Missouri Co-op of Home Educators
Age: 14
Grade: 8th
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Favorite TV Show: Chopped
Favorite Subject: Spanish


Karrissa Zanett, Speller No. 256
Bigfork, Montana

Sponsor: Flathead Home Educators
School: Flathead Home Educators
Age: 15
Grade: 8th
Favorite Author: Lois Walfrid Johnson
Favorite Sport: Gymnastics
Favorite Historical Figure: Edith Cavell


Torah Smith, Speller No. 261
Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Sponsor: Sentinel & Enterprise
School: CHEC Homeschoolers
Age: 13
Grade: 7th
Torah previously competed in 2017 (tied for 189th place).
Favorite Sports Figure: Michael Phelps
Favorite TV Show: Doctor Who
Favorite Actor: Anthony Michael Hall


Immanuel Soh, Speller No. 292
Omaha, Nebraska

Sponsor: Nebraska Homeschool
School: Nebraska Homeschool
Age: 13
Grade: 8th
Favorite Book: The Bible
Favorite Sport: Ping-Pong
Favorite Subject: Math or Language Arts


Noah Clark, Speller No. 300
Bergen, New York

Sponsor: Batavia Newspaper Corporation
School: G.R.A.C.E. Leah Homeschool
Age: 13
Grade: 7th
Favorite Book: Redwall by Brian Jacques
Favorite TV Show: Home Improvement
Favorite Musician: George Frideric Handel


Grace McKeegan, Speller No. 381
Steubenville, Ohio

Sponsor: The Herald-Star
School:
Heart Of Mary Homeschool Association
Age: 14
Grade: 8th
Grace previously competed in 2017 (tied for 41st place).
Favorite Book: The Wide, Wide World by Susan Warner
Favorite Food: Pizza
Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride


Melodie Loya, Speller No. 398
Bainbridge, New York

Sponsor: The Daily Star
School: Sidney Area LEAH
Age: 13
Grade: 7th
Melodie previously competed in 2017 (tied for 18th place).
Favorite Author: Scott Remer
Favorite Sports Figure: Simone Biles
Favorite Historical Figure: Maya Angelou


Jack Miller, Speller No. 418
Abilene, Texas

Sponsor: Big Country Home Educators
School: Big Country Home Educators
Age: 14
Grade: 8th
Jack previously competed in 2015 (tied for 50th place), 2016 (tied for 172nd place) and 2017 (tied for 41st place).
Favorite Food: Irish beef stew
Favorite Movie: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Favorite Game: Mario Kart


Sarah Roberts, Speller No. 437
Hampton, Virginia

Sponsor: Roberts Home School
School: Roberts Home School
Age: 13
Grade: 8th
Favorite Book: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Favorite Food: Spicy foods
Favorite Movie: The Lego Batman Movie


Akash Vukoti, Speller No. 459
San Angelo, Texas

Sponsor: San Angelo Christian Home School Association 2
School: San Angelo Christian Home School Association 2
Age: 8
Grade: 3rd
Favorite Food: Paneer
Favorite Sports Figure: LeBron James
Favorite TV Show: Little Big Shots


Nairit Sarkar, Speller No. 474
Wichita Falls, Texas

Sponsor: Mill Ridge Homeschool
School: Mill Ridge High School
Age: 13
Grade: 8th
Favorite Food: Pizza
Favorite Movie: Inception
Favorite Musician: Ludwig van Beethoven


Tristan Jason Minguez, Speller No. 503
Lufkin, Texas

Sponsor: Angelina Home Educators
School: Angelina Home Educators
Age: 14
Grade: 8th
Favorite Food: Pizza
Favorite TV Show: Frasier
Favorite Musician: Bruno Mars


Camille Mooney, Speller No. 511
Charles Town, West Virginia

Sponsor: St. James Homeschoolers
School: St. James Homeschoolers
Age: 12
Grade: 7th
Favorite Book: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Favorite Musician: Grace VanderWaal
Favorite Historical Figure: Joan of Arc

For more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, visit http://spellingbee.com

Photo Credit: Scripps National Spelling Bee

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