The top 281 spellers from many parts of the world have gathered outside of Washington D.C., to compete in the annual Scripps National Bee, and you will be able to count Williamstown High School eighth-grader Iram Kingson among them.
Kingson, 14, earned her trip to the national bee by winning the 33rd annual Marietta Times Regional Spelling Bee in March. So you see, she's already a winner.
In addition to the competition, the competitors will have the chance to participate in many activities, including a barbecue, tours of the Washington area and an awards banquet.
And in addition to the United States, competitors will come from American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Europe, the Bahamas, Canada, China, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea. The winning speller will receive a $30,000 cash prize and engraved trophy from Scripps; a $2,500 U.S. Savings Bond and a complete reference library from Merriam-Webster; and $2,000 in reference works from Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as three-year membership to Britannica Online Premium.
Each participant is guaranteed to receive a $100 Visa gift card, and that's in addition to prizes they have already won at the local level.
The national bee will be televised on the platforms of ESPN, beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday on ESPN3. Coverage shifts to ESPN2 at 2 p.m. Thursday, with the finals set to begin at 8 p.m. Thursday on ESPN.
The discipline and dedication it takes to advance to the national spelling bee are skills that will serve participants well in their adult lives.
With that in mind, we congratulate Iram Kingson and wish her well as she competes in the national spelling bee.