Last year, Vanya Shivashankar was cut from the Scripps Bee without misspelling a word. This is her last chance to win.
KINSMAN, Ohio - Sixty-three spellers in this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee have been on that stage before. One of them is the pride of Trumbull County, Ohio.
Rebekah Stanhope, 13, is back at the bee for the second year in a row. Her principal at Joseph Badger Middle School in Kinsman, Ohio couldn't be more proud.
"Never had a national spelling bee qualifier before," said principal Robert Moon. "We've had some come close over the years, but we've never had one, let alone a repeat winner. So it's quite a big deal."
Rebekah's been practicing for the spelling bee about an hour a day and five hours on weekends.
"If you know roots from each language and you know the language of origin of the word, you have a much better chance of spelling the word correctly," she said.
Rebekah has known she wanted to be in a spelling bee since she was a first grader. She has won every school bee since her first one in the third grade. She's also an athlete, an artist and she sings in the school choir.
Rebekah was eliminated just before the semi-final round last year. This year, she's hoping to bring that trophy home to Ohio.
"I think the best thing to remember is that no matter if you miss every word in the first round, you still got there. So the best thing to do is study, but also just to enjoy it because lots of people that would really like to go will never get that chance," she said.
Forty-six spellers in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee will advance to Thursday morning’s televised semifinals, including several who have been on the semifinal stage in prior years.
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