The 2019 Mississippi Spelling Bee will see one competitor from the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District, as Armstrong Middle School eighth grader Soyeon Park hopes for yet another chance to compete on the biggest stage of all.

Soyeon Park

Soyeon Park

Park is no stranger to success at all levels of spelling competitions, having already competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Park went on to win the countywide Spelling Bee this year, which advanced her to the state level.

In 2016, as a student at Henderson Intermediate School, Park advanced to the national competition after winning the Mid-South Spelling Bee in Memphis.

The following year, Park won the 2017 Mississippi Spelling Bee in the 39th round by spelling the word “spiracle.”

The Mississippi competition will be broadcast live at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 19 on Mississippi Public Broadcasting Television.

Sidney Stegall, an eighth grader from Heritage Academy in Lowndes County, will also compete in the statewide competition.

Forty students from several school districts will compete.

The spelling bee will take place in the television studio at MPB, at 3825 Ridgewood Road in Jackson.

Due to limited seating, the bee is not open to the general public.

The winner of the Mississippi competition will advance to the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee set for May 30.

The event is sponsored by the Mississippi Association of Educators.

Lead judge for this year’s bee is Dennis Watts, assistant to the president of Belhaven University. Other judges are the Rev. Carol Mead, rector at St. Peter’s by-the-Lake Episcopal Church in Brandon; Amber May, programs director for Operation Shoestring; and Ercilla Dometz-Hendrix, policy analyst for the University Research Center.

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