SoCal Elementary School Students Invited to Enter Justin Rudd’s 12th –annual National Spelling Bee

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Justin RuddLast March, Jem Burch, 9, a third-grader from Golden Valley Charter School in Van Nuys won Justin Rudd’s 11th –annual “$1,000 National Elementary School Spelling Bee.” He was lucky number “13” and beat out 67 other spellers in grades 3, 4 and 5 at the Bee held in Belmont Shore in Long Beach. The Bee lasted approx. 2 1/2 hours and spellers came from as far as Northern California to participate. The prize money comes from Rudd’s Long Beach Turkey Trot.

This year’s Bee is Sun., Mar. 3 at 2 p.m. at Bay Shore Church, 5100 E. The Toledo in Belmont Shore and entrants are sought. Details, rules, and entry forms can be found at Some free entries are available for low-income families by contacting Spectators are welcome for $5.

The National Elementary School Spelling Bee is designed to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabulary, and develop correct English usage. This contest is sure to have some nail-biting, breath-bating competitors.

All U.S. public, private, parochial and home schools are allowed to enter any number of spellers in the $1,000 National Elementary School Spelling Bee. Spellers do not need their school’s permission to enter. Words began on a fifth-grade level. There is no study guide for this Bee. Students are eliminated from the competition after misspelling one word.

The winning words at last year’s Bee were “morphology” in Round 10 and “epiphany” in Round 11. Some misspelled words in the final rounds included “mediocre”, “zydeco”, “numismatic”, “morpheme”, “emeritus”, “panacea”, “obsequious”, “mellifluous”, “skedaddle”, “gourmand”, “pointillism” and “frieze.” Correctly spelled words in final rounds included “odyssey”, “orthography”, “gobbledygook”, “wangle”, “symposium”, and “miscible.”

Interestingly, four of the last 11 years’ winners were 9-year-olds, as seen on this list:

2002 Kelli Conley, 10, Long Beach, Calif.; legible and conscience
2003 Timothy Johnson, 11, Torrance, Calif.; belie and indebtedness
2004 Steve Wang, 11, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.; irretrievable
2005 Gabriella Pineda, 10, Anaheim, Calif.; unacceptable and tyranny
2006 Matt Buckley, 9, Temecula, Calif.; psalm and theocracy
2007 Lily Wu, 9, Pasadena, Calif.; precocious and cautionary
2008 Giselle Serate, 10, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.; pharaoh and surveillance
2009 Snigdha Nandipati, 10, San Diego, Calif.; hemorrhage and impasse
2010 Atharva Patil, 9, Irvine, Calif.; telecommunication and deity
2011 Anne Jiang, 10, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; colander and colloquial
2012 Jem Burch, 9, Van Nuys, Calif.; morphology and epiphany

Rudd and CAT also host the National Adult Spelling Bee, and this year both Bees will be held on the same day at the same location. The adult bee is for ages 16 and older and begins at 4:30 p.m. The adult bee prize is also $1,000. Visit for details, rules and entry forms.

Details and rules at Contact


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