Area students ready to s-p-e-l-l on Saturday

Akron Beacon Journal

The Akron Beaon Journal's Regional Spelling Bee is set for Saturday at Hudson Middle School.  

The noon event will be the culmination of a months-long process that began in elementary and middle schools in Summit, Portage, Medina and Wayne counties. Students competed in spelling bees at the school level, then at the county level, before taking a qualifying test to earn a spot Saturday.  

The defending champion of the Beacon Journal’s bee, Riya Hegde, will compete again this year against 12 others who qualified.  

Also competing will be Lorena DeHoff, Crestwood Middle School in Mantua; Shaylee Henderson, Nordonia Middle School in Northfield; Caty Harder, Highland Middle School in Medina; Aaron Miedel, Central Christian School in Kidron; Duy Tran, Hudson Middle School; Grant Tomecko, St. Francis Xavier School in Medina; Charlotte Kratzert, Seton Catholic in Hudson; Lauren Ball, Wadsworth Middle School; Rosa Donnelly, Hudson Middle School; Andrew Yeager, Chippewa High School in Doylestown; Jada Sikora, Our Lady of the Elms High School in Akron; and Luke Butcher, Highland Middle School in Medina. 

This year’s regional bee is structured differently than in years past. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers of the Scripps National Spelling Bee created an online testing platform that the students used throughout the process.  

Saturday’s bee will take place in person, with limited numbers of visitors and personnel staffing the event.  

Veteran pronouncer Tom Stephan again will be at the microphone to share the words with students.  

The winner of Saturday’s bee will qualify to compete in the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee. That bee’s early rounds will be virtual, and the finals will involve what Scripps said would be about 10 to 12 spellers who will travel in July to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  

The bee will announce the broadcast schedule later in the year.