Extra Credit

Live from the Scripps National Spelling Bee

Charleston Daily Mail reporter Samuel Speciale will provide updates from the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington, D.C.

varunThe speller sponsored by the Gazette-Mail is Varun Kukkillaya, a John Adams Middle School 8th grader who is making a repeat appearance at the national bee. Go Varun!

Other West Virginia spellers include Andrew Gould, a sixth-grader from Weston, and Marleah Knight, an eighth-grader from Morgantown.

Varun will get most of the Daily Mail’s attention, but we’ll try to keep you updated on the other WV spellers as well.

Follow along below for updates:

Live Blog Live from the National Spelling Bee

Two more W.Va. spellers headed to nationals

Andrew Gould, a sixth-grader from Weston, celebrates after winning the RESA 7 Regional Spelling Bee. (Photo by Exponent-Telegram photographer Kyle Jenkins)
Marleah Knight, an eighth-grader from Morgantown, poses after winning her regional spelling bee. (Photo by Dominion Post photographer Tyson Murray)

Andrew Gould, a sixth-grader from Weston, and Marleah Knight, an eighth-grader from Morgantown, will join Varun Kukkillaya, the 2015 Gazette-Mail Regional Spelling Bee champion, in Washington, D.C. to compete in May’s Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Andrew and Marleah are the champions of their respective regional spelling bees.

By correctly spelling “batik” and “coloratura,” Andrew outlasted 33 other spellers to take home the RESA 7 Regional Spelling Bee trophy. Marleah correctly spelled “algorithm” to win her bee.

At nationals, Andrew and Marleah will represent portions of West Virginia’s northern counties.

Several regional spellers from West Virginia compete in the national spelling bee each year. At last year’s bee, Varun and three other spellers represented the Mountain State. While none advanced past the preliminary rounds, they all performed well in the bee’s televised spelling rounds.

Like Varun, Andrew and Marleah will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the national bee. Spellers arrive May 24 and begin preliminary testing on the 26th. The main spelling rounds are May 27-28. They are televised by ESPN.

For the full story on Andrew’s and Marleah’s spelling victories, visit the Exponent-Telegram website by clicking here and the Dominion-Post’s here.

Follow along: Gazette-Mail Regional Spelling Bee

Some of the best young spellers in West Virginia will be gathered at Capital High School today for a chance to go to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Follow along here for updates on how they do:

Live Blog Gazette-Mail Regional Spelling Bee

Kanawha County Spelling Bee

Spelling bee season is here. Join Daily Mail education writer Samuel Speciale for live coverage of the Kanawha County Spelling Bee.

(And forgive him if he spells something wrong.)

Live Blog Kanawha County Spelling Bee

Scripps Spelling Bee offers early enrollment

West Virginia speller Varun Kukkillaya at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May.
West Virginia speller Varun Kukkillaya at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May.

I like spelling bees.

I don’t know if it’s my love for language or my competitive nature, but there’s something about the national bee that’s exciting.

This year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, which aired on ESPN networks in May, was about as  engaging as any sporting event could hope to be. The dramatic spell-off, which ended in Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe being named co-chapmpions, and the confident, yet heartbreaking elimination of fan-favorite Jacob Williamson made the Bee the most tweeted and talked about event that week.

We’re still months away from the 2014-2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee, but the start of school also serves as the start of Bee season.

Early enrollment starts today, which allows teachers, school administrators and PTA leaders to sign their schools up for the Bee at a discounted rate of $130. Early enrollment ends October 15, after which regular enrollment extends to December 12.

Enrollment takes place exclusively at www.spellingbee.com.

Once enrolled, the school will receive resources needed to run a classroom or school spelling bee, which will take place later this fall and winter. From there, winning spellers will move on to county and regional bees.

The 2014-2015 Scripps National Bee is expected to include 11 million participants this year.

National Spelling Bee finals

Varun Kukkillaya, the Charleston Gazette-Mail’s sponsored contestant in the National Spelling Bee, missed the cut for today’s final rounds by a mere single point. He spelled his two words correctly onstage but his score on a written teste was not enough to advance.

West Virginia’s other spellers — George Andrew Triplett of ElkinsRaimah Hossain of Morgantown and  Lillian Taylor Bischof of Wheeling, likewise did not move on to the final rounds.

Nevertheless, spelling bees are fun. So, herein is continuing coverage, brought to you by the Daily Mail’s education writer, Samuel Speciale.

Follow along for the National Spelling Bee

Follow along for updates from the National Spelling Bee.

John Adams Middle School seventh grader Varun Kukkillaya is competing in the bee as the Gazette-Mail’s representative. Cheer for Varun as he goes through the preliminary rounds and then competes on the national stage.