More than eight months ago, 11 million spellers started off on a journey to make it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Now, it's down to an elite group who are in the Washington D.C. area
getting ready for the finals!
Action News caught up with 13-year-old Frank Salzeider. He's a seventh grader at University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy.
- U of D Jesuit High School and Academy student wins Scripps Regional Spelling Bee
- First Detroit Public Schools student heading to Scripps National Spelling Bee
Frank is one of more than a dozen students from Michigan who made it to this top level.
"I never thought I'd ever get to D.C.," Frank said. "It seemed like a very, very far thing, but I made it! In previous years, I tried to just get past the school spelling bee, but I couldn't go on any further. So this year my goal was just to get past the school."
After passing that level, Frank went on to win the regional competition in March by beating out more than 70 other students. He says he has fun learning new words and is grateful for the support he has received from friends and family, especially his mom who helps him study.
"I'm quizzing him every night," said Frank's mom, Pavlina Salzeider. "He takes the big binder with him to school and every chance he gets he always revisits those words. It's wonderful... it's really nice. We're super proud of him. All the kids that get this far must feel extreme pride."
Frank says he's proud of how far he's come and is most excited to see the finals live. No matter what happens, he feels like he'll walk away a winner.
"I just love to see the confetti pouring down live," he said. "The smile on the winner's face. Maybe it'll be me? It'll just be a great experience."
For a look at finalists from Michigan, go to: https://spellingbee.com/meet-the-spellers
Here's a look at some fun facts:
Total number of spellers - 565
Advanced by winning sponsored regional spelling bee - 271
Advanced through RSVBee program - 294
Sets of siblings competing together - 7 (Two sets of twins - one identical/one fraternal)
Number of returning spellers - 162
Spellers in their fifth appearance - 2 (#490 Naysa Modi and #141 Rebekah Zeigler)
Texas has the most representatives in the Bee with 69 spellers
Ages range from 7-15
The grade level with the largest number of spellers is eighth grade - 216 (38%)
Spellers represent grades 1-8
Majority of spellers attend public schools - 65%