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Saint Mark's offers scholarships at 2020 State Spelling Bee Saturday

Top student spellers from all over the First State show off their skills in Pike Creek this weekend.

Students competing at this weekend’s annual State Spelling Bee may have a little more incentive when Saint Mark’s High School in Pike Creek hosts the event for students in 4th through 8th grades.


For the first time this year, the Catholic high school is offering scholarships to the top spellers.

“The number one speller in the State will receive $25,000; second place is $20,000 and third place $15,000 at Saint Mark’s High School. I think this is wonderful,” said Dave Skocik who serves as the word pronouncer at the event.


The state spelling bee which draws students from 74 public, private and home- schools around Delaware. And Skocik says its great experience for everyone, despite the pressure that comes with it for the competitors - and him.


“It means getting to work with some fantastic young people, encouraging them and their parents," said Skocik. "It’s certainly the most stressful four hours of my year, making sure you get everything right. It takes two days to prepare for this, with the 500 words that we offer. 


The winner advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May.


This is the state spelling bee’s 30th year and its 12th year at Saint Mark’s.  It starts at 9 a.m Saturday in the Anna Graham Theater.

Skocik says the public is welcome to attend, but to avoid the distractions, very young children are not permitted in the auditorium during the competition.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.