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Eleven vie for 2013 South Dakota State Spelling Bee title at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Eleven students will compete for a trip to Washington, D.C. and the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the University of South Dakota at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 23.

The South Dakota State Spelling Bee at Farber Hall on the USD campus will be streamed live by Coyote News at and features 11 students who qualified by finishing as a top speller at regional competitions throughout the state.

Students participating Saturday are: Carolyn Blaha, seventh grade student from Wagner Community School, Mitchell Region; Lexis Sherron, eighth grade student from the Sioux Falls Region; Whitney Fuerst, eighth grade, Tripp-Delmont (Mitchell Region); Adele Benoit, seventh grade, Yankton Sacred Heart Middle School (Vermillion Region); Emily Fox, seventh grade, Spearfish Classical Christian School (Rapid City Region); Luke Norby, third grade, Dakota Valley Elementary School (McCook Lake, S.D.), Vermillion Region; Max Oesterling, eighth grade, Rapid City Region; Maria Braga-Henebry, eighth grade, Sioux Falls Region; Genesis Reynolds, seventh grade, South Middle School Rapid City; Maddy Gillett, eighth grade, Sioux Falls; Connor Lightfield, eighth grade, Milbank Middle School, Watertown Region.

The State Spelling Bee winner will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., May 26-31. In addition to transportation and accommodations for the student and a parent, the winner receives a Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is administered on a not-for-profit basis by the E.W. Scripps Company and local spelling bee sponsors in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe; also, the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. The competition is open for students in first grade through the eighth grade.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News