Ali Van Tassel, 11, Philadelphia,a sixth-grade speller from Indian River Middle School, competed last week through the third round of preliminaries at the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
In a Facebook message to the Times, Ali called her experience at the 2018 Bee “breathtaking,” citing “being able to stay in such a cool resort, meeting people from all over. And it was breathtaking in another way, when I was so nervous I could barely breathe.”
Ali’s mother, Amber L. Van Tassel, said that her daughter “learned even more about how words work while we’ve been [in Washington] and plans to set new spelling bee goals.” Mrs. Van Tassel said Ali was “very appreciative for the amazing experience.”
Ali can compete again; spellers are allowed to be in the bee until they’ve completed eighth grade or reach the age of 15, whichever comes first.
If she wins the regional spelling bee held at the General Brown Central School District next spring, she’ll be on her way to Washington, D.C. again.