By SAMANTHA PIDDE
West Carroll Middle School seventh grader Aubrey Charles competed last week in the National Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
The daughter of Terry and Christy Charles of Mount Carroll, Aubrey, 13, made it through the first three rounds of the competition, which took place at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
Although Aubrey correctly spelled both her round two and round three words (“cribellun” and “specimen”), she did not advance past Wednesday night, May 30, to the finals.
The first three rounds include a preliminaries test and two rounds of onstage oral spelling. A speller can earn up to 36 total points in the preliminaries (30 for the written test and three points for each oral test).
A speller must earn at least 28 points to advance to the finals; Aubrey did not. A total of 519 spellers participated in rounds one and two and 452 participated in round three. Only 41 spellers advanced to the finals.
The finals were held Thursday night,, May 31, with eighth grader Karthik Nemmani of Scoggins Middle School in McKinney, Texas, winning with the word “koinonia.”
Aubrey, who maintains a 4.0 grade point average at WCMS, qualified for the National Spelling Bee in February by finishing as runner-up at the Regional Bee in Pearl City and then earned a trip to the national spelling bee by receiving a "wild-card invitation," a new opportunity for top spellers to compete at the National Spelling Bee.
This was the fourth consecutive year a WCMS student has attended the National Scripps Spelling Bee competition. Aubrey’s sister, Olivia Charles, has competed previously.