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Mount Vernon Student Competing In National Spelling Bee

Mount Vernon middle school student Letia Jones will compete against some of the best spellers in the world.
Mount Vernon middle school student Letia Jones will compete against some of the best spellers in the world. Photo Credit:

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – A Mount Vernon middle school student will be competing against some of the top spellers in the world at the Scripps National Spelling Bee this week.

Spelling superstar Letia Jones, a student at A.B. Davis Middle School, was the winner of Mount Vernon’s district-wide spelling competition in March, and will compete against students from all over the world at the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C.

Jones won the citywide competition in the 44th round when she spelled “peloton,” topping Melanie Mangar from Holmes Elementary School and Kali Palmer from A.B. Davis.

In all, 281 spellers representing all 50 states, Europe, Asia and the Americas will battle it out for five rounds before a champion is crowned live on ESPN on Thursday.

Jones, who was the valedictorian of her sixth grade class last year, got started on Tuesday, when all competitors took a computer-based test from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The preliminaries will consist of two separate rounds. Round two will be on Wednesday morning, and will air on ESPN3. Spellers 1 through 140 will be on stage between 8 and 9:45 a.m. Spellers 141 through 281 – which includes Jones at 161 – will match up from 10 to 11:45 a.m.

The preliminaries will conclude later in the afternoon, with the first group going on stage between 1:15 and 2:45 p.m. and the second from 3 to 4:45 p.m. The evening will conclude with all semifinalists taking a computerized test.

The semifinals will be shown on television on ESPN2 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Maryland Ballroom. The eventual championship will be crowned on ESPN at 10 p.m. during the final round.

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