Two Bering Strait region students head to state spelling bee

building in winter

A pair of Bering Strait region students are competing at the state’s spelling bee and angling for a chance to take their wordsmith skills to a bigger stage.

Anvil City Science Academy 7th grader Amelia Richards and Unalakleet School 8th grader Lilah Razzo have been selected to compete in the Alaska State Spelling Bee in Anchorage.

A total of 54 Alaskan students were chosen to compete in the state spelling bee.

Razzo explained that she is a bit nervous after winning at regionals.

“First I had to go to White Mountain (and) I was like a bundle of nerves,” Razzo said. “I spelled ‘reenactments’ and that was my winning word.”

Razzo’s mom, Samantha Razzo, congratulated her daughter’s coach on helping Lilah with the bee — the first in-person competition of its kind in the last few years.

“Amber Cunningham has been her coach for the last three years and it’s just been amazing,” Samantha said. “She’s really excited. COVID had put a damper on the first couple of years and now it was in-person for regionals and now in-person for state, so we’re just really thankful that she gets this opportunity and she’s just very excited.”

The finalists are competing Friday, March 24 starting at 10 a.m. at the Discovery Theatre — inside the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts in Anchorage — for the chance to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C., which will be held May 30 through June 1.

Image at top: The Alaska Center for Performing Arts. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.