Blue Hill homeschooler headed for Maine State Spelling Bee

Blue Hill homeschooler headed for Maine State Spelling Bee”

EP Pearce Elementary School student Ama Mante and Western Guilford Middle School student Yahleona Cruz were honored as runners-up in the GCS 2018 District Spelling Bee. The bee lasted 17 rounds and the final two words were "coquelicot" and "Kilimanjaro".

As victor, Erica will compete with winners from 14 other northeast IN and northwest OH counties at the Regional Spelling Bee at 10 a.m. March 3 at IPFW's Rhinehart Music Center Recital Hall.

"I'm just so proud of him", said his mother, Shobana Eapen. It took 13 rounds with 165 words to determine the school champion. Since the bee is only open to fifth to eighth graders, fifth-grader Audrey was competing in her first spelling bee.

Louise Aponte knows all about spelling bees: Her oldest son, John Bapst High School student Brandon Aponte, made it all the way to the National Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, as a seventh grader in 2013.

Asked about facing each other in the spelling bee, the sisters had differing views.

For Rebecca, the experience was "nerve wracking but it was also really exciting", she said.

"I just didn't want to beat her because I didn't want her to be sad", Audrey said as Elizabeth chuckled in the background. The Maine State Spelling Bee is on May 24 at the University of Southern Maine.

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