National spelling bee includes 9 from Minnesota, 2 from Wisconsin

The preliminary rounds of the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee begin Tuesday, and nearly a dozen students from Minnesota and Wisconsin will be among those looking to take home more than $50,000, a trophy and more.

Bee Week is held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

Among those participating are the following:

  • 11-year-old Kai John Riedner, Minnetonka Middle School West, Excelsior
  • 14-year-old Yupeng Chen, Ordean East Middle School, Duluth
  • 12-year-old Jacob August Warner, Kennedy Secondary School, Fergus Falls
  • 13-year-old Jaden Gabriel Go, Sacred Heart School, Grand Forks
  • 12-year-old Elijah Dee Elledge, Immanuel Lutheran School, North Mankato
  • 13-year-old Roberto Novis Villasboas, St. Francis of Assisi School, Rochester
  • 13-year-old William David Rausch, Royalton Middle School, Royalton
  • 14-year-old Holland Vogel, Murray County Central School, Slayton
  • 13-year-old Leyla Warda Jacobson, North Junior High School, St. Cloud
  • 13-year-old Aiden Devmina Wijeyakulasuriya, Blessed Sacrament School, Madison
  • 13-year-old Nethraa Muthupandiyaraja, Forest Park Middle School, Madison

Preliminaries are all day on Tuesday and the quarterfinals will be from 7 a.m. to noon on Wednesday.

While the first few rounds aren’t televised, ION will be showing the semifinals at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29 as well as the finals, which will be shown live at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 30. However, you can stream the preliminaries, quarterfinals and more with ION Plus.

Both Minnesota and Wisconsin have one spelling bee champion in past years, according to Bee Week officials – in 1991, Joanna Lagatta from Madison, Wis., took home the top price, and in 2001, Sean Conley of Aitkin, Minn., won first place.