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State Spelling Bee returns to Saint Mark's H.S. Saturday

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The annual Delaware State Spelling Bee returns to a more normal look after the pandemic forced scaled down versions the last two years.

The Delaware State Spelling Bee for grades 4 to 8 is Saturday at Saint Mark’s High School in Wilmington.

And the event’s coordinator Rachel Casey says this year will feel like a a traditional spelling bee, “The wonderful news is that we are not restricted by any COVID-19 protocols. So this will feel more normal than it has in the past two years; we’re really looking forward to that.”

Forty-eight public, private and homeschool champions from all three counties are set to compete.

And Dave Skocik of Dover returns for a 35th year as word pronouncer.

He says even though he goes over all 500 words selected from the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary prior to the event, he does occasionally trip up, “Maybe a word like topliftical, which is a very superior in air or attitude.”

Casey says a wide variety of prizes go to the top spellers, “Of course they’ll receive a trophy, which is always exciting. But Scripps, who promotes the Spelling Bee, has a variety of prizes for our students and the opportunity to participate in the National Spelling Bee held in Washington, D.C.”

Casey says the winner receives a $25,000 scholarship, second place gets a $20,000 scholarship and the third place earns a $15,000 scholarship.

That money is spread out over four years to attend Saint Mark’s.

The State Spelling Bee starts at 9:30 Saturday morning. The winner advances to the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

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