Forestview Middle School eighth-grader Matthew Majerle is heading to Washington, D.C., to compete Wednesday-Friday in the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Matthew, 14, the son of John and Mary Ann Majerle of Brainerd, is sponsored by National Joint Powers Alliance, Staples. Matthew won his shot at nationals after winning the Brainerd School District sixth- through eighth-grade spelling bee and The Lakes Bee, the regional bee.
The first round of the national bee will be held Tuesday morning. The preliminary rounds will be held from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. eastern Wednesday and will be aired live on ESPN3.com.
The semifinals and finals will be held Thursday and will be aired live on ESPN. Semifinals will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and finals will be held from 8-10 p.m.
Matthew will join four other Minnesota students at the national competition. They are Emma Greenlee, sponsored by Lakes Country Service Cooperative, Fergus Falls; Elise K. Stahl, Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., Minneapolis; Antony Joseph, South Central Service Cooperative, North Mankato; and Roshini Shreya Asirvatham, Southeast Service Cooperative, Rochester.
This year there will be 278 spellers from the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe; as well as the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
The spellers range in age from 6 to 15 years old, but 84 percent are between the ages of 12 and 14 years old.
Last year, Connor Gunsbury, who is a Brainerd ninth-grader this school year, tied for 19th place during semifinals in the national spelling bee.