Last March,Mercer Middle School sixth grader Deveshwar Sudhakerjoined nearly 100 of the county’s top student spellers on the stage at Stone Bridge High School,concluding the night as the 2020 spelling bee champion. A week later, schools closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The spelling bee will be back next week for its 39thyear, but in a very different format.
The competition will be conducted in two phases this year. The first phase, scheduled for Thursday, March 4, will be an online test featuring all the school-based champions.
From there, the top 20 spellers will advance to a final round conducted virtually via Google Meet on Thursday, March 18. When a student misspells a word, he or she will be removed from the virtual meeting until only one remains. The event will not be livestreamed.
The winner of the will participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is scheduled for June 1-3 at National Harbor, MD.